Xavier Malisse, a semi-finalists at Wimbledon 11 years ago announced his retirement.
Malisse, the 33 year-old Belgian who has spent much of his professional career based in Bradenton, Florida after honing his trade at the Nick Bollettieri Academy, decided to bring things to a close after losing in the first round of an ATP World Tour Challenger event in his home country of Belgium at Mons.
Malisse gave a tearful retirement speech on court after the match and said: “I liked the pressure of the game but I’m also relieved. Now I’m going to relax with my family and friends. It is hard to leave but we have to stop one day.”
The player with the trademark ponytail had announced a few weeks ago that he would retire at the end of the Australian Open in January 2014 but changed his mind after a poor run of form and decided to end his career in front of his Belgian compatriots instead. He leaves the game with a career prize total of $5,692,696 and a career high ranking of no.19.
He won three ATP World Tour singles titles, twice at Florida’s Delray Beach (2005,’07) and also at Chennai (2007). He also won nine doubles titles. Including the French Open in 2004 with fellow Belgian Olivier Rochus. This year in 2014 San Jose the X-man alongside Germany’s Frank Moser won the title.
The staff at 10sBalls.com is saddened by the news. Xavier wore our patch proudly for 3 years and we are hoping he has a change of heart and thinks about playing some doubles. Either way tennis has lost a player with great talent and a person with a colorful personality, style and flare. We say thanks X-man.