ATP PLAYER NEWS
June 23, 2008
Former World No. 4 Bjorkman to Retire This Season
Jonas Bjorkman today announced that, at the age of 36, he is to retire from the ATP circuit this season.
The popular Swede will contest Wimbledon for the final time, beginning against Arnaud Clement in the singles first round on Tuesday, and also hopes to compete in the Olympic Games in Beijing, with his final schedule not yet determined.
Bjorkman has enjoyed a glittering career in both singles and doubles. On November 3, 1997 he reached a career high of No. 4 in the South African Airways ATP Rankings, that same year winning three ATP titles, including the Stockholm title (d. Siemerink) in front of his home crowd, which he cites as one of his greatest memories.
Bjorkman’s career has spanned 17 years and some of his finest moments have come in recent years. At the age of 34, the right-hander reached the 2006 Wimbledon semifinals, where he fell to World No. 1 Roger Federer, who went on to claim his fourth title at the All England Club.
In doubles, Bjorkman has enjoyed huge success, highlighted by reaching the No. 1 spot in the Stanford ATP Doubles Rankings on July, 9 2001 and capturing nine Grand Slam doubles titles, including three successive titles at Wimbledon (2002-04 w/Woodbridge), where he will partner Kevin Ullyett in his final appearance this season.
Jonas Bjorkman (l) and Todd Woodbridge, 2003 Wimbledon Doubles ChampionsAs Sweden’s longest serving Davis Cup representative, Bjorkman had the honor of winning the coveted title three times in 1994 against Russia, in 1997 against the USA and in 1998, defeating Italy in the final.
On announcing his retirement, Bjorkman had the following message for tennis fans worldwide:
Dear Tennis Friend,
I’ve been reflecting on my professional career and I have decided that this will be my last Wimbledon. At the age of 36 I now feel it is time to begin the next chapter of my life, being at home with my family and pursuing other interests.
I am very proud with what I have achieved as a professional tennis player, and I want to express a very warm and special “thank you” to all of you that have supported me through the years, all of you that I have been working with, and all of you that have contributed in making my dreams come true.
Winning Davis Cup, reaching number 4 in the world in singles, number 1 in doubles, earning nine career Grand Slam doubles titles, playing the Jonas Bjorkman (l), 1997 Davis Cup Champion with SwedenWimbledon semi final at the age of 34, and, last but not least, winning the Stockholm Open in front of my home crowd are just some of my finest memories.
I have been blessed with a long and successful career and I look forward to another great experience here at Wimbledon, for my last time as a competitor. I also look forward to the rest of my 2008 season, which hopefully will include the Olympic Games in Beijing. It would be the most incredible way to finish my career if I could win a medal for Sweden.
It has been a fantastic journey starting with my first satellites in 1990 and my debut on the ATP Tour in 1993, a journey that has given me unforgettable moments, great victories, amazing experiences, so much knowledge and wonderful friendships on and off the court. I will treasure this all my life.
It is with great joy that I look forward to the next phase of my life, including packing my children’s school bags rather than my own tennis bags…
All the best,
Reading such a letter written by Jonas to the fans makes it even more clear what a great person he is
I almost got tears in my eyes reading this
I can already say that tennis will loose a wonderful and fair sportsman in Jonas