Den Bosch (The Netherlands): Veteran Belgian tennis player Dick Norman called time on his 22-year professional career after a first-round doubles loss alongside compatriot David Goffin, 20 years his junior, at the Topshelf Open here.
“I had around 60 people here today including my wife, my parents and my two daughters. It’s nice to retire here and we’ll have some beers later this evening on site at the Corona bar," Norman was quoted as saying by atpworldtour.com. He was presented with a cake after the match.
The 42-year-old reached a career-high World No.10 in ATP doubles rankings in April 2010 and won four tour-level titles from seven finals. The highlight of his career came with a runner-up showing at Roland Garros in 2009, when he and Wesley Moodie were beaten by Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes.
"My career was divided into three parts. In 1998 I retired for a couple of years and came back in 2000. When I came back I played well in singles and then in my third career, during the past few years, I focused on doubles and enjoyed that a lot too," said Norman.
"It’s a beautiful life on tour and for sure I will miss the sun, since we see it during nine months a year. While at home I will spend most of my time indoors and only see the sun during two months in the summer.”
Looking back on his career, Norman also remembered reaching the 2009 Wimbledon semifinals (wtih Moodie) and the US Open quarterfinals (with Moodie) the same year, all when he was aged 38.
“I remember how I looked at 40-year-old players when I was 30. I thought that they should stop. But I was lucky with my knees and my shoulder and didn’t have any problems. I won’t give up tennis because it’s my passion and I want to share it with people. I’m organizing tennis holidays and doubles clinics for people who want to improve their doubles game,” Norman signed off.