Mario Ancic has just retired from professional tennis. Mario is only 26 and one of the most promising players I have ever seen play, but persistent illness and injury has been too much.
I remember watching Mario play in juniors and he was always a rising star. Mario has played some amazing matches and had some great results. Mario will retire from tennis to focus on a career in law.
“I can’t stand it anymore, I have finished my career,” Ancic said on Monday. “I’m forced to quit because nature has decided it’s time. My back can’t withstand the effort of professional tennis.”
Fellow Croat Ivan Ljubicic was devastated for his compatriot.
“It’s terrible. I mean that’s the worst way for a sportsman to finish the career,” said the 31-year-old after being forced to quit his first round-match in Dubai with injury.
“Fortunately he has a law degree. He’s already practising that. His life, it will go on,” added Ljubicic, who partnered Ancic to Olympic bronze in 2004.
“Together we achieved so much at such early stages of our careers. It was just incredibly unfortunate to kind of finish it that way.
“I saw him in Zagreb just a couple of weeks ago. We are in touch all the time. I didn’t bother asking him too much how he was, because I knew the answer. It was not good, not good for the last three years.”
Ancic used that time to complete his law degree at the University of Split – in the city of his birth – which he completed in 2008, with a thesis on the legal foundation and organisation of the ATP Tour.