Here we take a look at which of our favourite tennis greats could be calling it a day this season. While many of these players could easily go on making decent prize money for seasons to come, let’s outline a few reasons why this could/should be the end and offer some spurious odds for the outcomes. WARNING, article may contain some conjecture.
Marcos Baghdatis : The Cypriot 15/8
Baggy had a mini-renaissance in 2016 finishing the year ranked 36, equalling his highest season-end ranking since 2010. But his 2017 hasn’t started as brightly managing just one win, coming at the Australian Open, and not featuring on the ATP tour since, citing a foot injury. To add insult to injury he was beaten in five sets by 799th ranked Tunisian Moez Echargui in the weekend’s Davis Cup action, ending his 14 year run of 36 consecutive Davis Cup wins. Eeek. Time could be up, Marcos.
Mikhail Youzhny : The Colonel 2/1
Which brings us onto our next subject, Super Mikhail. Alongside Marcos, he’s a crowd favourite and every real tennis fan’s hero but is surely nearing the end. Form, injury and motivation saw the Russian slip out of the top 100 (for the first time since 2001) during his 2015 & 2016 campaigns, and while he managed to scrape back in recently, one can’t help but think with his age (34), injuries (retired AO & Rotterdam) and book-smarts (PHD Philosophy) he could be on the verge of a new career.
Ivo Karlovic : Ivo The Giant 10/1
One of the greatest serve-bots to ever grace the game has seen a substantial dip in form since the Australian Open this year. Four first round exits leading up to Miami, coupled with his ripe old age of 38, may point towards the end for big Ivo. But then again, whilst he can still sling that big arm over, he can still win enough matches to justify continuing.
David Ferrer : The Energizer Bunny 15/1
The tireless Spaniard David Ferrer has long been heralded tennis’ Mr. Consistent, only recently dropping out of the top 20 for the first time in over 10 years. David now finds himself world number 34 and his enormous engine, capable of grinding down just about any opponent on its day, has finally began to falter. Being swept aside by the likes of Diego-Sebastian Schwartzman, who is (or was) basically a ‘poor man’s Ferrer’, does not bode well for the future of our beloved David.
Richard Gasquet : The Gasman 20/1
Dickie Gasquet is not an obvious candidate, but recent injury and motivational issues have seen him fall back in the rankings. His departure would beg the question, has he fulfilled his potential? The answer, a resounding no. But one gets the feeling he’d quite enjoy a retirement party.
Daniela Hantuchova 1/2
You’d be excused in thinking Hantuchova had already called it a day, and her current rank of 238 almost certainly shows that you’d soon be right. This was in fact, her worst ever season-end ranking and at 33 it’s not hard to call this one. Fair play to Dani though, a recent report of her plugging away on the ITF circuit, even collecting her own balls between points, shows she really must love the game.
Francesca Schiavone 10/11
Surely this is the year the ex-French Open champ throws in the towel, or is it? Franny actually improved on her year-end ranking last year, moving up from 121 to 91. But the new year has brought with it grave concerns for Italy’s favourite scrapper, who at 36 has dropped out of the top 150. She will always have the passion, but will the old legs finally give-way in 2017?
Jelena Jankovic : JJ 3/1
Jelena ‘JJ’ Jankovic suffered her worst season ending ranking (55) since 2003 last year. While her age, 31, suggests she could go on a while longer, her motivation may have other ideas. A retirement with her feet up next to the pool in her adopted hometown of Dubai could be too enticing.
Serena Williams 10/1 Venus Williams 5/1
Every year questions are raised over the two greats of the game, but let’s nip this one in the bud. While they are still consistently winning matches (and Grand Slams!), it is unlikely either of them will quit. Maybe one possible scenario would be them going out on a high which would be entirely fitting.
Andrea Petkovic : Petko 20/1
Andrea Petkovic is one from left-field. Petko has struggled with injuries throughout her career and has previously bounced back to gain a reputation as one of the more consistent performers on the circuit. But a recent dip in form has seen her fall to 75th in the world and she is visibly showing some on-court motivation issues. We fear she could be one more nasty injury away from pursuing a life outside tennis.