ALICANTE, January 8, 2016
With Ruben Ramirez-Hidalgo, one of the legends on the tour announced his retirement by the end of the season. The Spaniard turned 38 on Wednesday and has been a professional tennis player since 1998.
Ramirez-Hidalgo spent most of his career on the ATP Challenger Tour, where he could claim 11 titles. His last trophy so far he lifted at the Panama City Challenger in 2013. Last year wasn’t as successful as he wanted it to be.
“I played a lot of team competitions in 2015. I competed in the German Bundesliga, in which we won the title, but also in Italy, Switzerland, Spain and France last November. For that reason, I did not compete in so many Challenger tournaments,” Ramirez-Hidalgo writes on Spanish tennis website Planeta Tenis.
The Alicante native played his last Challenger in Brest in October. “The reason is simple. Playing team competitions is just more profitable in terms of earning money,” he explains.
“I love tennis, but as much as I like it – if it does not financially compensate the costs, I will have to hang up the racket. I knew that this time will come. Each year ending I ask whether it is time to leave, if I can continue a year and if I want to travel, play and being away from home,” the current world number 253 states.
“In 2015 I had to deal with knee problems and played many matches in pain. I couldn’t enjoy the tennis as much as I wanted. I started practicing in November and December and nothing hurts anymore. I trained very hard and still have the desire to compete. My intention is to start and finish the season in the best possible way,” Ramirez-Hidalgo is still highly motivated. The Spanish veteran will start his season at the $50,000 ATP Challenger Racket Club Open in Buenos Aires.
“If everything goes well, 2016 will be my last year and I want to finish the season as good as possible. Wednesday was my birthday, turning 38. This is a good age to retire and start to enjoy other things,” the former world number 50 says.
What about his plans for the future?
“I have an own academy called Tenis Alicante, where I can start to work from one day to another.”