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Tennis: Marcelo Rios retires!

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posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 08:55 AM
Former world number one Marcelo Rios ended his tennis career by beating Argentinian Guillermo Coria in a tribute match. The 28-year-old Chilean, who reached the top of the ATP rankings in 1998, decided to retire after being troubled by a persistent back injury.

In his final match Rios defeated Coria, the world number seven and this year's French Open runner-up, 6-4 7-5 in front of 13,000 fans in Santiago. Voted the best Chilean athlete of the 20th Century, Rios won 18 tournaments during his professional career and was the first South American to head the world rankings.

A Grand Slam title eluded Rios, whose best performance was in the 1998 Australian Open where he lost in straight sets to Petr Korda. Rios' career was not without controversy, and the Chilean will also be remember for shunning the grass of Wimbledon and describing women's tennis as "a joke".

He also refused to carry his nation's flag in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Following their match, Coria was in doubt as to the ability of the mercurial Rios.

"With this talent he should still be winning tournaments," Coria said.

"He was a much respected player. Nobody wanted to play against him because he was able to make you feel embarrassed on the court."


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