'Difficult decision': Tennis rocked by star's sad retirement

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·Sports Reporter
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Former World No.5 Kevin Anderson (pictured right) embraces Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon final.
Former World No.5 Kevin Anderson (pictured right) has announced his retirement from tennis.

The tennis world has reacted with sadness after 35-year-old South African star Kevin Anderson announced his retirement from the sport.

Standing at 2.03m tall, the South African was the runner-up to Rafael Nadal at the US Open in 2017 — World No.32 at the time, Anderson was the lowest-ranked finalist in tournament history — and to Novak Djokovic at Wimbledon in 2018.

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Anderson enjoyed a brilliant career having won seven ATP titles and having reached a career-high ranking of World No.5 on his run to the All England Club final in 2018.

The South African said it was a 'difficult decision to retire', but thanked tennis for the journey that started from his hometown in Johannesburg.

"Tennis carried me far beyond my roots in Johannesburg, South Africa, and truly gave me the world," Anderson wrote on Twitter.

"I've experienced so many different challenges and emotions; this sport can be exhilarating and at the same time lonely.

"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."

Tennis world reacts to Kevin Anderson retirement

Anderson holds the record for being the tallest grand slam finalist in tennis history.

Many in the tennis world took to social media to praise Anderson's career, but also to laud his personality and kindness on the Tour.

Anderson is currently South Africa's greatest tennis player of the 21st century.

Many fans remember Anderson's enthralling run to the Wimbledon final in 2018.

This included a 13-11 fifth-set victory over 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer in the quarter-finals after facing a match point, and a 26-24 fifth-set victory over John Isner in the semi-finals, before the loss to 20-time Grand Slam champion Djokovic.

That match against Isner served as the tipping point for Wimbledon to use tie-breakers for the final set . All four announced this year they now will play tie-breaks at six-all in the deciding set.

Kevin Anderson (pictured right) poses as runner-up to Novak Djokovic (pictured left) who won the 2018 Wimbledon final.
Kevin Anderson (pictured right) finished runner-up to Novak Djokovic (pictured left) at Wimbledon in 2018. (Photo by John Walton/PA Images via Getty Images)

Anderson subsequently slid out of the top 100 following a succession of knee, shoulder, ankle and elbow injuries and is currently ranked 107.

He last competed in the Miami Open in March.

Anderson has been an advocate for reducing plastic use on the tennis tours and his charitable efforts earned him the 2019 Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award.

with AAP

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