Michael Llodra closed his singles career at the French Open on Tuesday, with the French Tennis Federation holding an on-court ceremony for him after he lost to Fernando Verdasco in the first round.
"I was overcome with emotion on court, seeing my friends, my family," said Llodra, who shared the moment with his children. "There have been some incredible matches...an immense pleasure with the public, with my family. That is what is most important in my eyes today, over the victories."
The 34-year-old Frenchman played his first match at the French Open 15 years ago, as a teenager against two-time champion Sergi Bruguera. He recalls leading by two sets before falling to his more experienced opponent. Since then, Llodra has gone on to win five singles titles and 26 doubles titles, including three doubles Grand Slams. He reached a career-high rank of No. 21 in 2011.
"I am not Nadal. I am not Federer. But I thought I played well. I won five singles titles and numerous doubles titles. It could be said I was not a bad professional."
The Frenchman, one of the only serve-and-volleyers on the circuit these days, is not stopping right away—he is entered in the doubles draw, and would also like to be a member of the French team in the Davis Cup semifinals.