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Moodie calls time
- Updated: July 29, 2011
By Mark Etheridge
South Africa’s top-ranked doubles player, Wes Moodie has hung up his racket.
Moodie, 32, was ranked 39th in the doubles category of the ATP Tour rankings at the time of his retirement but was ranked as high as eighth in 2009.
The Durban-born player will be remembered best by most for his 2005 Wimbledon doubles victory with Australian Stephen Huss.
Fittingly the tall right-hander’s last tournament was also Wimbledon earlier this year where he and Belgian partner Dick Norman reached the Last 16.
Explaining his retirement, Moodie told Road to London 2012: “I had contemplated playing in the US Open this year but there are a number of reasons I’ve made this decision, the main reason being that my daughter is now nearing five years old and it was becoming increasingly difficult to travel and more recently when my son was born my wife and I found it even more difficult.
“I also feel my best tennis days are past as well as the fact that I don’t believe my body would hold out for much longer. I have felt physically and mentally drained ÔÇô┬á I have dedicated my life to the sport. I now feel my growing family needs my dedication to them ÔÇô something I can’t do when traveling so much.
“So, a number of reasons but perhaps a reality check that the tennis life that I so much enjoyed for many years has come to an end. I’ll look back with fond memories but with the satisfaction that I gave it my best go, and I have nothing left to give to the game.
Referring to his future career path, Moodie said: “I was offered a position in the eLan Group. There was a vacancy in their onsite┬á sales team at Simbithi Eco Estate in Ballito (North Coast) and so I decided to take up the offer. It is also exciting times with the announcement that the Group will be breaking ground on Monday at the development in Blythedale Coastal Resort north of Durban’s new airport. Right now though my wife and I look forward to our new life and personally being able to see my children grow up.”
Moodie, who turned pro in 2000, also took time out to remember his career highlights and low points to Road to London 2012
“I think it was a run of a few months which led me to well inside the top 100 in 2003 that was my first highlight, which included qualifying at Wimbledon before losing to [Sebastien] Grosjean in the third round. And following that up with some decent results at tour level later in the year.
“2005: Wimbledon victory. A total surprise and the best trophy to own. Quite remarkable to look back and never remembering nervousness in anyway throughout the tournament until we went 3-0 up in the fourth set. It suddenly dawned on me that we were actually going to win. Fortunately we did!”
“Tokyo, Maiden singles title (2005). Was more satisfying than Wimbledon in the sense that I had dreamt of being a pro player in singles from a young boy and finally all those dreams had come true and hard work had paid off. Not nearly as well recognised as the Wimbledon victory, but personally, great satisfaction from that.”
Fortunately my real lowlights were in the juniors! I suppose there were two periods, in 2002, after a big break through the ranks, I was injured and it took me a year to move on (ranking-wise) from where I left off before I was injured. Mostly uncertainty of my future. 2006, after a fantastic year in 2005, not being able to sustain the level I wanted to play at in singles or not being able to sustain my ranking/progress.
“The one good result in 2006 however was a close loss to [Rafael] Nadal in the third round at US Open. In 2008: realising that my singles days were over. I had tendinitis in the patella tendon and quickly realised my knee would never sustain a full schedule in singles ÔÇô and then the difficulty of accepting my new path as a doubles player only. I did have thoughts of retirement then, but felt I would have cheated myself. 3-1/2 years on and I don’t have anything left to give. Trophies, titles, ranking seem meaningless and unimportant. I have a family that I see everyday now and children that I far more important to me than any tournament or trophy.”