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Farewell To Mario Ancic

February 22, 2011

It is a sad occasion when a career ends due to injury, but even more tragic when a career never really begins because of it. Mario Ancic will be a player remembered just as much for the hardships he faced off the court than the talent he displayed on it, but it is a true credit to that talent that he gained many fans and had as much success as he did.

Ancic wouldn’t have been the easiest choice of a favourite player, but then, no one actively chooses their favourite. I can’t imagine the pain him and his fans must have gone through; just when he seemed poised to stake himself at the top of men’s tennis permanently, an injury would come along. In 2006, ranked world number seven, Ancic suffered a knee injury and then just before the US Open, a back injury. The latter would turn out to be one of many. In 2007 Ancic would make a successful comeback only to be diagnosed with glandular fever, an illness that reared its head again in 2008, when Ancic had made it back up to 24 in the world. It’s easy to become bogged down in details, but the bottom line is that Ancic was beyond unlucky.

Many would have called in quits before Ancic finally did today, announcing his retirement due to a back injury. Ancic didn’t really need tennis – after graduating in 2008 he has established himself as a lawyer – he just wanted it. Tennis was engrained in his law career and his life. Ancic may have had to hang up the racket at 26 years old, but it had nothing to do with mental burnout. As he embarks on a law career, Ancic will surely look back on his tennis career with a lot of pain, but also with much pride, because the heart he showed to come back time and time again could only be matched by his faithful fans.

Farewell and good luck to Mario Ancic, the man who inspired 1000 cranes.

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