In our series reviewing the 2023 ATP Tour season, we remember some of the big names who culminated their careers this year. Spaniards Feliciano López and Pablo Andújar headline Part 1 of this story, with Americans John Isner and Jack Sock present in Part 2 tomorrow.
One of the longest careers in the history of the ATP Tour came to an end when López, after 26 seasons as a professional, said goodbye to the circuit at the age of 41. The former world No. 12 played his last tournament on the grass at the Mallorca Championships.
“I feel very proud for having competed for more than 20 years as a professional without missing a season, but also for having left a good impression on my teammates and the people who have accompanied me,” he acknowledged.
It was a fitting farewell on the grass courts of Mallorca, a surface in López set the best mark by a Spanish player with 87 wins. He also enjoyed what he considered his “best week” on the ATP Tour on grass, lifting the singles and doubles titles at the cinch Championships at The Queen’s Club in 2019. Read Tribute.
Andújar also finished his career on Spanish soil, signing his farewell at an ATP Challenger Tour tournament in Valencia in November. The four-time ATP Tour champion received an emotional tribute after retiring at the age of 37 with more than 400 tour-level matches under his belt.
The Spaniard reached No. 32 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2015, then overcame three elbow operations to return to the Top 50 in 2019.
“I used to watch all the tournaments as a kid and always thought I could compete in them,” he said. “Having managed to compete in them means that my dream came true.” Read Tribute.
Photography: Faulcombridge Cup
Juan Sebastian Cabal / Robert Farah
Not even retirement could separate two lifelong friends and doubles partners. Cabal (37) and Farah (36) jointly announced their decision to retire in August, competing in the US Open and achieving a farewell Davis Cup win for Colombia before hanging up their racket.
“We feel like we’re doing the right thing, it’s a difficult time,” Cabal said. “We have been playing this sport for 30 years, dreaming of reaching the top. It is hard to say goodbye, but everything has an end and this is a good moment. It is not about results, it is about time for each of us.”
Together they won 19 tour-level titles, including two Grand Slams. Additionally, they became the world’s No. 1 doubles pair in 2019. Read Tribute.
Photograph: James Chance/Getty Images
Gojowzcyk capped an 18-year career in Metz, where he won the only ATP Tour title of his career in 2017.
The 34-year-old German reached the Top 40 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2018, when he reached two ATP Tour finals and had 23 victories. His best Grand Slam result was the fourth round from the qualifying phase at the 2021 US Open, where he demanded five sets from Carlos Alcaraz.
“My career as a professional tennis player was full of incredible moments, challenges and unforgettable experiences, both on and off the court,” Gojowczyk told ATPTour.com. “I will keep these memories forever.”
The former world Top 20 played his last tournament at the US Open. Afterwards, he took his entire family on vacation to Disneyland.
Among the Argentine’s greatest triumphs are the 2016 Davis Cup title and the 2019 Sao Paulo crown. In addition, he reached four other ATP Tour finals and the quarterfinals at Wimbledon 2019.
“It was an incredible trip, with many beautiful things that allowed me to live moments that not everyone can and for that I will be eternally grateful,” he wrote on social networks. Read Tribute.
Photography: Córdoba Open
Sousa put the finishing touch to his professional career at the ATP Challenger Tour tournament in Lisbon. The 35-year-old Portuguese has lifted eight Challenger crowns in his career and is one of four Portuguese men to have reached the Top 100 of the Pepperstone ATP Rankings over the last decade.
“I feel happy and proud of my career, I have no regrets,” he said. “Most people don’t know the difficulties we went through, it’s a very tough race. Of course I’ve made mistakes, but I feel happy with my achievements.”
The No. 42 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings achieved by Jaziri is the best position ever achieved by a Tunisian. His last match took place at an ATP Challenger Tour tournament in his country last May, closing a more than 20-year career in which he achieved more than 100 wins at the tour level.
“This is the end of my career as a tennis player, I hope we have a good path and success in life after tennis,” he said after being honored at the Nitto ATP Finals. “Tennis has given me many opportunities, I am delighted to have been part of the ATP family.”
Read all the stories from our Best of 2023 special.