Home Sport Kevin Anderson retires: ‘I Gave It My Best’

Kevin Anderson retires: ‘I Gave It My Best’

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South African tennis star Kevin Anderson has announced his retirement, ending a 15-year professional career that saw him climb to No.5 in the ATP Rankings.

South Africa's Kevin Anderson reacts while playing Chile's Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera on the first day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at the The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2021
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson reacts while playing Chile’s Marcelo Tomas Barrios Vera on the first day of the 2021 Wimbledon Championships at the The All England Tennis Club in Wimbledon, southwest London, on June 28, 2021. Picture: Adrian Dennis, AFP

Cape Town — South African tennis star Kevin Anderson announced his retirement on social media Tuesday, ending a 15-year professional career that saw him climb to No.5 in the ATP Rankings, win seven ATP Tour titles and reach two Grand Slam finals.

“I don’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t playing tennis. I started on the journey 30 years ago when my Dad put a racquet in my hands and told me if I was willing to work hard, I could be one of the best players in the world,” Anderson wrote.

“Since then, tennis carried me far beyond my roots in Johannesburg, South Africa and truly gave me the world. I’ve experienced so many different challenges and emotions; this sport can be exhilarating and at the same time lonely.

“I’ve had ups and downs, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. My journey helped me become the man who I am today.”

In an extended statement, the South African thanked several people who have helped him along the way: his parents, his brother, Greg, other family members, longtime coach Jay Bosworth, the staff at the University of Illinois, where he played college tennis, and his wife, Kelsey Anderson.

“I’ve learned from so many people along the way,” Anderson wrote. “I’m extremely grateful for the incredible coaches, agents, physios, fitness trainers, mental coaches who helped me maximize my potential and really achieve my dreams over the years.”

Anderson has reached notable highs in the sport, including becoming the top African in ATP Rankings history (since 1973) and competing in the Nitto ATP Finals in 2018. He struggled with various injuries later in his career but overcame them to soar to his greatest heights, including runs to the final of the US Open in 2017 and Wimbledon in 2018.

The 35-year-old remained competitive until his retirement, lifting an ATP Tour trophy last July in Newport. His final match came in March at the Miami Open presented by Itau.

Off the court, Anderson received the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award in 2019 and was a longtime member of the ATP Player Council, of which he is currently President.

“Thank you to all the fans who watched, cheered and have been there for me along the way. I will always appreciate the outpouring of the support you showed me,” Anderson wrote. “I am so thankful for the wonderful things that have come my way purely because I was a part of this sport.

“As a kid, my Dad used to tell me that success isn’t defined by results, but by the effort and sacrifice you make along the way in becoming the best you can be. I gave it my best.”

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