Czech veteran Stepanek calls it a day

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Radek Stepanek

Bengaluru, November 15: Czech Republic's Davis Cup star Radek Stepanek announced his retirement after failing to recover his fitness following back surgery earlier this year.

The 38-year-old won five ATP singles titles and reached the Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2006 when he reached a career-high eighth in the world rankings.

The following year a back injury threatened his career but Stepanek battled back and won two Grand Slam double titles with India's Leander Paes, the Australian Open in 2012 and the US Open a year later.

Alongside Tomas Berdych, Stepanek was also part of the Davis Cup teams triumphed in 2012 and 2013.

Stepanek had hoped to make another comeback after undergoing back surgery but that dream was never realised.

"I had to be realistic. I fought till the last breath but it is time to move on," Stepanek was quoted as saying on Czech website www.idnes.cz.

Stepanek, who turned professional in 1996 had started his career as a doubles specialist. But he worked his way in singles and reached as high as No.8 in ATP rankings in 2006. In doubles, he had reached a career-high of No.4 in 2012.

Coached by former Australian Open champion Petr Korda, Stepanek was romantically linked to many tennis stars including Martina Hingis, Nicole Vaidisova and Petra Kvitova.

Story first published: Wednesday, November 15, 2017, 15:02 [IST]
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