Tennis

Newly Retired Stars Honored At Nitto ATP Finals | ATP circuit

With the 2022 season reaching its climax this week at the Nitto ATP Finals in Turin, the ATP Tour took the opportunity to honor some of its recently retired stars with a special ceremony on Friday at the prestigious season finale.

Those whose stellar achievements were recognized included former French Top 10 stars Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gilles Simon. Simon, a 14-time Tour champion, played his last professional tournament in November at the Rolex Paris Masters, and was pleased to be present for an emotional night in Italy.

“It’s an honor to be here,” Simon told ATPTour.com. “I have been a part of this Tour for over 20 years. I had the opportunity to play the Masters (now the Nitto ATP Finals). It was not here but in Shanghai. [in 2008]. I had the opportunity to play this fantastic event once in my life and I am very happy to come and have this ceremony here. It’s really a great feeling.”



Joining Tsonga and Simon on the court was another former Top 10 player, Tommy Robredo. The Spaniard won 12 tour-level titles and reached his career-high No. 5 in the Pepperstone ATP Rankings in 2006.

“It’s a pleasure,” said Robredo, when asked about the ceremony. “When they sent me an email saying they wanted to invite me here to celebrate my retirement, it was a pleasure to realize that they still remember me.

“Being here with the players who retired this year and also being in the best place in the world of tennis, the [Nitto ATP Finals]For a little recognition, it’s an amazing thing and I really want to thank the people for doing this.”

Eight-time ATP Tour champion Philipp Kohlschreiber was happy to take an exception to his post-retirement break from tennis to take part in the ceremony, during which the players were welcomed by ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi.

“When I first received the email from our [Chairman] that they invited me, of course I said ‘Wow,’” Kohlschreiber said. “The first thing I thought was that I don’t want to have anything to do with tennis this year, but I said that it is a great honor to be here with the best players in our sport and also to be in such a big stadium and with this special atmosphere, to be part of the celebration. Also, to say thank you and goodbye, I think it’s a great honor and I’m very happy to be here today.”

Ukraine crisis relief

Also in attendance were four-time ATP Tour singles champion Sergiy Stakhovsky, who took up arms in Ukraine’s war effort and walked the court as the Pala Alpitour was lit up in his country’s national colours.

“It’s quite special, of course,” Stakhovsky said. “Gilles Simon and Tsonga, and [Robert] Lindstedt and [Horia] Tecau, and all these great doubles players, are a great group of people. We spent tons of time together on the Tour, playing against each other and competing, and spending time in the [ATP Player] Tip with Gilles a lot. Of course he’s great, he’s nice, but in my given circumstances I feel a bit out of place here.”

World-class doubles stars who recently finished their professional careers were also recognized at the Pala Alpitour. They included 38-time tour champion Horia Tecau and 35-time tour doubles champion Bruno Soares, as well as former world No. 5 and 2013 Nitto ATP Finals champion David Marrero, 23-time tour champion Robert Lindstedt, former Wimbledon men’s doubles champion Frederik Nielsen and seven-time tour champion Ken Skupski.

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