Paolo Lorenzi retired from tennis at the age of 39 after losing in the second round of qualifiers at the US Open on Thursday.
He went down 4-6, 3-6 to Frenchman Maxime Janvier.
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“No more professional tennis. That’s what I was thinking, to finish in New York. I’ve always loved New York, so I think it’s a good place to stop,” Lorenzi told ATPTour.com.
“Everything was more difficult and I had a few injuries at the beginning of the year, so I knew that my body was not like before anymore. You have to know when it’s time to finish.”
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The final game of the match was fitting for Lorenzi, who saved three match points and earned a break point to get back on serve before bowing out.
“I would like to finish every match trying every chance, every moment in the match to try my best,” Lorenzi said. “I hope that this is a good memory.”
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Lorenzi admitted that if there was one thing that he was sad about Thursday, it was that he hoped to qualify for the main draw to have one more opportunity to play in front of spectators.
There are no fans in attendance for US Open qualifying this year due to the pandemic.
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“I would like them to remember me as a player who was trying his best every time on court and was fighting until the end,” Lorenzi said.
“This was the best journey of my life. I really enjoyed every moment. Every time I was on court, it was a dream that came true.”
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The Italia, who turned pro in 2003, reached a career high of 33 in May 2017. His only singles title came at the Kitzbuhel Open in 2016.