Former French Open finalist Guillermo Coria retired from tennis at age 27 on Tuesday.
Coria, a finalist for Roland Garros in 2004 and formerly ranked third in the world, said he had been considering stepping down from the sport for months.
“I didn’t feel like competing anymore,” Coria said in statements published on the Argentine Tennis Association’s Web site. “I’ve made the decision I will not play again.”
Coria won nine titles during his career, reaching his peak in 2004, when he lost in the French Open final to Gaston Gaudio, catapulting him to third in the world rankings.
Coria’s decline began a year later after he won the Umag tournament — his last title.
“In 2005 I began to feel less and less like competing. My passion just wasn’t the same and it’s impossible to do things well when it’s like that. In this sport, you have to be at 100 percent,” added Coria, who is currently ranked 672.
Coria turned pro in 2000 at age 18 and was suspended in 2001 for two years. But the ATP reduced the penalty to seven months after a lab test showed the multivitamin he ingested was tainted with steroids. In June 2007, after claiming he’d lost a potential $10 million in earnings, Coria settled a lawsuit with the New Jersey-based maker of the multivitamin.
In 2003 he won three tournaments in three weeks, and by the end he was South America’s highest-ranked player. He was also the first Argentine in 21 years to reach the season-ending Masters Cup.
Coria’s last tournament was in March at a challenger in Bangkok, his first event in eight months. He lost in the first round.
“I’m very happy with the decision I’ve taken,” he said, “since I have new projects and I will be able to spend more time with my family.”
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press