It’s the end of an era for Grand Slam champion Juan Carlos Ferrero…
The 32-year-old Spanish tenista, a former World No. 1, says he’ll retire after playing in his hometown’s ATP tennis tournament, the Valencia Open, next month.
Ferrero, who started playing professional tennis 1998, rose to the top of the rankings in 2003 after winning the French Open and reaching the U.S. Open final, where he lost to Andy Roddick.
In his 14-year professional career, Ferrero won 16 titles and helped Spain win two of its five Davis Cup titles in 2000 and 2004.
“It was a complicated decision to leave a world you have lived in intensely,” said Ferrero, who is currently ranked No. 66 in the world. “But I have had a tough year and you start to notice that you don’t have the same ambition and motivation.”
Following his retirement from professional play, Ferrero has plans to devote his extra time to his tennis academy and his hotel. In July 2007, he bought an old cottage in Bocairente, 50 minutes south of Valencia and refurbished it into Hotel Ferrero, which features 12 luxury suites.
The Valencia Open runs October 20-28.