The 2019 men's tennis season is set to begin in another 10 days, with the first set of ATP 250s kicking off on December 31.
The 2018 season was quite a memorable one, with lots of entertaining matches throughout the year. The season also saw a few retirements take place within the men's circuit. The most noteworthy retirements were that of Russia's Mikhail Youzhny, who was 36 when he retired and Luxembourg's Gilles Muller, who retired at the age of 35.
Along with them, Spain's David Ferrer confirmed that he would retire after the Madrid Masters in April 2019. This would bring an end to his illustrious career, which saw him reach a career-high ranking of 3 in 2013, the year he reached the final of the French Open.
Apart from him, we can expect a few more big stars call it quits during the upcoming season.
In this article, we take a look at the 5 players who might do so:
#5 Tomas Berdych
Czech Republic's Tomas Berdych had a year to forget as he wasn't able to go deep in most of the tournaments he played. He also suffered from a back injury, which saw him almost half the year.
He is currently ranked no. 73 in the world. He will look to come back fighting once the 2019 season begins, but the 33-year-old also might call it quits once the season concludes.
In fact, he thought about retirement once he concluded his 2018 season in September but decided against it. He has had an illustrious career but failed to win a Grand Slam. He reached the final of Wimbledon in 2010 where he lost to Rafael Nadal.
Overall, he has won 13 titles and reached a career-high ranking of no. 4
#4 Ivo Karlovic
The 6'11" star from Croatia might not have won anything significant in his career but surely made a mark for himself with his big serves. He holds the record of having hit the most aces in professional tennis(12936) - a record which might not ever be broken.
Karlovic turned pro in 2000 and won a total of eight titles in his career. Unfortunately, he was never able to win an ATP 500 or a Masters 1000 as well. He reached a career-high ranking of 14 in 2008 and also holds the distinction of having a superior head-to-head record against Novak Djokovic(2-1).
At the age of 39 now, the 2019 season might be his last.
#3 Fernando Verdasco
The 35-year-old lefty from Spain had a decent season in 2018, finishing the year in the top 30. However, the 2019 season might just be his last one ever.
He has been playing since 2001 and has produced some great moments on the court in his career. He will always be remembered for his epic encounter with Rafael Nadal at the 2009 Australian Open semi-final, which he ended up losing in 5 grueling sets.
Overall, he won 7 titles in his career and reached a career-high ranking of 7. He was also a part of Spain's Davis Cup winning team on three occasions and played a big role in each of their wins.
#2 Feliciano Lopez
Over the past few years, Spain's Feliciano Lopez has been producing better performances on the doubles circuit than on the singles circuit.
There have been rumours of the 36-year-old calling it quits but he has not done so yet. However, it is highly likely that he might do so in 2019. Lopez turned pro in 1997 and has won 6 titles in singles. He also won 4 doubles titles, including the French Open in 2017.
#1 Roger Federer
There have been rumours about his retirement every year for the past three or four years or so but Roger Federer quashed those rumours with some magnificent performances on the court. He has won 3 Grand Slams over the past 2 years and regained the world no. 1 ranking for a few weeks in 2018 as well.
However, age does seem to be catching up with the Swiss Maestro. His calendar has been getting shorter every year and his performances in the second half of the year have not been as good as the first half.
With the Laver Cup set to take place in his hometown of Geneva next year, there are rumours that he might retire after the tournament. However, we can only wait and see as to what eventually happens.