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Former Wimbledon finalist Kevin Anderson, 35, announces retirement
The South African, who reached two Grand Slam finals and climbed to world No. 5 during his career, announced the news on social media Tuesday.
Published May 03, 2022
FLASHBACK: Kevin Anderson claimed his final ATP Tour title in 2021 at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport.
South Africa’s Kevin Anderson announced his retirement from tennis in a social media post on Tuesday, bringing an end to his glittering 15-year career highlighted by two Grand Slam final appearances and seven ATP Tour titles.
The Johannesburg native, currently ranked No. 107, was 1-5 in main draw matches this season. He played his final professional match in the first round of the Miami Open, where he fell in a tough three sets to Juan Manuel Cerundolo as a lucky loser.
“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 reflected on social media.
“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 I am today.
“Today I finally arrived at the difficult decision to retire from professional tennis.”
After making his first Grand Slam final appearance at the 2017 US Open, where he fell to Rafael Nadal, Anderson rebounded to record the best season of his career in 2018. The South African reached the Wimbledon final that year, losing to Novak Djokovic—but arguably the most memorable moments of his career came in the two previous matches: Anderson stunned top seed Roger Federer in a four-hour epic quarterfinal, winning 13-11 in the fifth set, and then outlasted John Isner in a marathon semifinal, winning 26-24 in the fifth set.
Anderson climbed as high as world No. 5—the highest-ranked African ever in the ATP rankings. With his pro-level success and towering 6'8" figure, he became an early blueprint for the “serve-bot” style of tennis that now dominates the men’s tour, but he also struggled with frequent injuries throughout his career. He lifted his final ATP trophy in 2021 at the Hall of Fame Open in Newport, defeating Jenson Brooksby in the final.
Off the court, Anderson is a passionate environmentalist who has frequently advocated for clean oceans and sustainable practices in pro tennis. He is also the current ATP Player Council president, and was presented with the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian award by the ATP in 2019 for his contributions.
“I am so thankful for the wonderful things that have come my way purely because I was a part of this sport,” Anderson’s statement continued. “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.”