Spain's Ferrero announces retirement

Former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero will retire from professional tennis in October after a 14-year career in which he won 16 tour titles, he said Wednesday.

Ferrero, 32, said he would retire after the Valencia Open 500 tournament in his home city in eastern Spain from October 20 to 28, organisers said in a statement.

"The Valencia Open 500 will be my last tournament, on the best stage possible," it quoted Ferrero as saying at the launch of the Valencia event.

Ferrero, nicknamed "The Mosquito", won the French Open in 2003 and reached the final of the US Open the same year. He won 15 other major tour titles and reached the finals of a further 17.

He has not played for two months due to injury.

"This season, injuries have prevented me from playing continually and it has been a complicated year because I noticed on the court that I did not have the same ambition after 14 years at the top level," he said.

Ferrero in 2003 became the second Spanish player after Carlos Moya to occupy the world number one spot, before the rise of Rafael Nadal.

"What I will miss the most is competing. That will be a hard gap to fill," Ferrero said.

Ferrero played in the first Spanish team to win the Davis Cup, beating Australia in Barcelona in 2000, and in Spain's victory over the United States in Seville in 2004.

"Among my memories, the Davis Cup in 2000 stands out because then I understood how important it is for the country, but for a player winning a Grand Slam or becoming world number one is the most important," he said.

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