Sports Outside the Beltway

2002 Australian Tennis Open Champ Thomas Johansson announces his retirement

His playing had been beset by injuries of late. From AP-

Former Australian Open champion Thomas Johansson is quitting professional tennis after more than 15 years on the ATP tour.

The 34-year-old Swede won nine singles titles and reached a top ranking of No. 7 in 2002. Injuries forced him to take long breaks from the game in recent years.

“After a lot of thinking, I have now decided to step off the train and end my professional tennis career,” he said in a statement Friday. “During the fall I had to go through yet another operation after a foot injury and a month ago I became a dad for the second time.”

Johansson, who made his ATP debut in Bolzano, Italy, in 1993, said the biggest moments of his career were winning the 2002 Australian Open title and reaching the Wimbledon semifinals in 2005. He was also part of Sweden’s Davis Cup-winning team in 1998 and won an Olympic silver medal in doubles in Beijing last year with Simon Aspelin.

In March, Johansson was knocked out in qualifying for the Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Fla. Earlier that month, he beat Harel Levy, but lost to Dudi Sela as Sweden was defeated 3-2 by Israel in a Davis Cup quarterfinal.

All athletes come to a point in their career when they must decide if they are no longer competitive and should therefore retire. Some have trouble recognizing their skills aren’t what they used to be, and the late stages of their career become almost joke like. Johnansson looks like he is getting out at the right time. I wish him well in retirement.

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