posted on Jul, 16 2004 @ 03:49 PM
Santiago, Chile (Sports Network) - Former world No. 1 star Marcelo Rios retired from professional tennis on Friday, citing a recurring back injury.
The 18-time ATP singles titlist, who turned pro in 1994, failed to play any tennis this season due to chronic back pain. He underwent surgery in Miami
and his native Santiago, but the problem persisted.
Rios, who was ranked No. 1 for six weeks back in 1998, said, "It is very sad for me to accept that I must leave tennis."
"Tennis has been the passion of my life. I am 28, and I have dedicated almost 20 years to tennis. Tennis has been a way of life to me."
Rios went 51-26 in Grand Slam singles play, including a runner-up finish at the 1998 Australian Open. His on-court earnings came in just under $10
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