El Aynaoui retires from tennis in Doha

by: TENNIS.com | January 07, 2010

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TENNIS.com

Younes El Aynaoui played the final match of his career Wednesday, losing 6-2, 6-1 to Steve Darcis.

"
I hoped I could go one more match further and maybe meet Nadal but Darcis was just too strong today," said an emotional El Aynaoui. "I have always had a great time on court and I would like to thank Qatar Tennis Federation for providing me this opportunity."

El Aynaoui, who has not played on the ATP tour since 2008, was given a wildcard into the tournament, which he won in 2002. The 38-year-old became the oldest player to win a tour match in almost 15 years when he defeated Ryler DeHeart in the first round earlier this week.

El Aynaoui is best known for the 4-6, 7-6, 4-6, 6-4, 21-19 quarterfinal thriller he played against Andy Roddick at the 2003 Australian Open. The Morrocan pursued a tennis career despite the initial disapproval of his father, driving a truck and working as a janitor at Bollettieri's academy to finance his coaching.
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