Carlos MoyÃƒÂ¡ ‘honoured’ after emotional farewell ceremony
Former world number one Carlos MoyÃƒÂ¡ said he was “honoured” by his emotional retirement ceremony at the ATP World Tour finals on Sunday.
The Spaniard, who has been forced to hang up his racquet due to a foot injury, enjoyed 15 years on the circuit in which he landed 20 titles including the French Open crown in 1998.
Following the afternoon session in London, players from past and present joined Moya on court for a special celebration of his career. The Spaniard exclusively told The Sport Review: “It was a great honour for me to share that special moment in my career with the top players here.”
The decision to retire clearly was not an easy one for the 34-year-old. “It didn’t happen overnight,” he said. “Many things happened to me, but I wanted to believe that I could still play.
“Tennis is a sport I love, it’s not easy to leave the love of your life.”
The Spaniard received a standing ovation from the London crowd at The O2. “Although I didn’t play great here at Wimbledon, they always treated me well,” he said.
“I would like to thank the ATP for this recognition. It’s always great when people remember you, even when you’re not at the top.”
MoyÃƒÂ¡, formerly Rafael Nadal’s hitting partner, listened as the world number one gave an emotional speech on court. “It was very emotional what he [Nadal] said, it really touched my heart.
“He’s a great guy, a great player, a great person. Knowing him for so long makes it special for me because first time I met him he was just 11, 12 years old.”
He added: “I realised he has something special, but could never think he could be that good to be honest. He’s one of the greatest ever. When he was 13 or 14 years old, we were practising together. I was near the top 10 and sometimes he was beating me.”
The Spaniard believes the game has developed greatly since he started his professional career in 1995. “The average level is higher than it used to be,” he said. “Probably players are better prepared and the courts were much faster before.
“You had a grass court specialist, you had a hard court specialist, and you had a clay court specialist but not now.”
And MoyÃƒÂ¡ is still hoping to have a future in tennis. “I don’t know in what part of tennis,” he said. “I would like to play some exhibitions, maybe the senior tour in the future. I think I’m still fit enough to do that.”