As we kick off the new year and 2023 season, it’s time to take one final look back at 2022 and the many WTA and ATP players who announced their retirement. After following tennis closely for 15+ years now, I don’t remember another year where we saw so many retirements.
From tennis GOATS like Roger Federer to locker room favorites and doubles legends including Bruno Soares, Horia Tecau, and Marc Lopez, a long list of influential players hung up their racquets in 2021 and 2022.
The ATP made a thoughtful gesture by honoring all of its singles and doubles players who retired within the last two years with a special ceremony at the 2022 ATP Finals in Turin (Take notes next year, WTA).
In part 1 of our retirement series, we highlighted eight WTA players who retired last year. Now let’s take a look at eight ATP players who left their own mark on the doubles game.
1. Roger Federer
- Career Doubles Record: 131-92 (59%)
- Career Doubles Titles: 8
- Career High Doubles Ranking: No. 24
- Olympic doubles gold medalist
Roger Federer is most widely known for his global star power and singles career with 20 major titles, but many fans might be surprised to learn he also enjoyed success in doubles. Early on in his career, Federer played doubles fairly frequently with a mix of partners.
His most successful partnership was arguably with Belarusian Max Mirnyi, a former World No. 1 doubles player who racked up a hall-of-fame worthy career of his own. Together, Federer and Mirnyi won three titles in 2002 and 2003 at the Rotterdam Open, Kremlin Cup, and Miami Open. Federer finished 8-6 in career doubles finals, with two runner-up appearances at Indian Wells, a historically popular doubles stomping ground for top singles players.
Roger Federer Doubles Deep Dive: 7 Things You Didn’t Know About Roger Federer’s Doubles Career
At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Federer and Swiss compatriot Stan Wawrinka completed an emphatic doubles run, capturing the gold medal for Switzerland without dropping a set the entire event. He also teamed up with Wawrinka and other top Swiss players to help their country capture its first Davis Cup title in 2014.
Doubles played a large role at the end of Federer’s career at the Laver Cup, the widely popular exhibition event he helped develop. Federer and longtime rival Rafael Nadal teamed up to play Federer’s last professional match against Jack Sock and Frances Tiafoe. While they fell short in the match tiebreaker, it was a special and emotional scene for tennis fans around the world to witness.
2. Bruno Soares
- Career Doubles Record: 545-324 (63%)
- Career Doubles Titles: 35 (3 men’s doubles majors)
- Career High Doubles Ranking: 2
Bruno Soares Interview: Bruno reflects on his career and talks habits, routines, and doubles strategy on the Doubles Only Podcast.
40-year-old Bruno Soares played his last professional doubles match at the 2022 U.S. Open alongside partner Jamie Murray. The Brazilian star was a stronghold at the top of the men’s doubles game for the last decade and enjoyed success with multiple partners.
Soares’ most successful partnership came with Jamie Murray. Together, they won 12 titles, two majors (2016 Australian Open and U.S. Open), and finished year-end No. 1 in 2016.
He also won 12 titles with Alexander Peya between 2012-2015. At the end of his career, Soares partnered with Croatian Mate Pavic to win the 2020 U.S. Open and finish as the year-end No. 1 doubles team.
Throughout the peak of his career, he won at least one title every season between 2008-2021. On the mixed doubles court, Soares captured three majors with a trio of top women’s doubles players: 2012 Australian Open with Ekaterina Makarova, 2014 Australian Open with Sania Mirza, and 2016 U.S. Open with Elena Vesnina.
Sania Mirza Podcast Interview: Former World No. 1 Sania Mirza talks reflects on her successful doubles career
Beyond his on-court accomplishments, Soares was described as a locker-room favorite by ATPTour.com and spoke at length about the relationships he built off the court that mattered most to him.
“It’s kind of overwhelming to see how much I’ve been through, but also for me I think the nicest part is just friends, family, fans, everyone, the messages that I got. I think this is for me the most special part. [There have been] so many good things to read and I’ve always said the titles, the career, they are really amazing. At the end of the day, it’s the person that counts, so I feel extremely blessed and honored to be able to get all this love and amazing support and messages in this special moment of my life.”Bruno Soares
3. Horia Tecau
- Career Doubles Record: 473-286 (63%)
- Career Doubles Titles: 38 (2 men’s doubles majors)
- Career High Doubles Ranking: 2
- 2016 Olympic Doubles Silver Medalist
Thirty-seven-year-old Horia Tecau was one of Romania’s top tennis talents for the last decade during the height of his doubles career. His career longevity and consistency spoke for itself as he finished 11 consecutive seasons in the doubles top 30 between 2010-2020, according to ATPTour.com. Tecau also qualified for the ATP Tour Finals seven different times.
His career peak came between 2014-2015. During this time, Tecau and longtime partner Jean Julien-Rojer captured eight titles, won their maiden slam together at 2015 Wimbledon, took home the 2015 ATP Finals title without dropping a set, and finished the year ranked world no. 2. Their success continued for the next few years with one more major title at the 2017 U.S. Open and a total of 20 titles together.
Other highlights from Tecau’s career include a 2012 Australian Open mixed doubles title with Bethanie Mattek-Sands, a doubles silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, and making three consecutive Wimbledon doubles finals between 2010-2012 with Robert Lindstedt.
To celebrate Tecau’s illustrious career, Romanian tennis leaders organized a special retirement celebration with close friends and compatriots including Simona Halep, Bethanie Mattek-Sands, Andrei Pavel, Marius Copil, and Robert Lindstedt.
4. Marc Lopez
- Career Doubles Record: 310-244 (56%)
- Career Doubles Titles: 14 (1 men’s doubles major)
- Career High Doubles Ranking: 3
- 2016 Olympic Doubles Gold Medalist
A veteran Spanish stalwart, Marc Lopez may best be known for his close relationship (on and off the court) with Rafael Nadal throughout his career. Lopez and Nadal teamed up to win five doubles titles together, most notably the doubles gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. Since retiring last year, Lopez now serves as one of Nadal’s coaches alongside fellow countryman Carlos Moya.
Nadal wasn’t the only Spaniard who Lopez found success with on the doubles court. He partnered with Marcel Granollers to win the 2012 ATP Tour Doubles Finals and years later won Roland Garros in 2016 alongside Feliciano Lopez. He was also a two-time U.S. Open finalist in 2014 with Granollers and in 2017 with Feliciano Lopez.
Lopez won all 14 of his career doubles titles with fellow Spanish players: Nadal (5), Granollers (4), F. Lopez (3), and David Marrero (2). Given his long lineage of successful Spanish partnerships across multiple generations, it was fitting that Lopez played his last professional doubles match in front of a home crowd in Madrid. His partner? World No. 1 and Spanish prodigy Carlos Alcaraz.
He was honored by good friend, former partner, and Madrid tournament director, Feliciano Lopez, Rafael Nadal, and Marcel Granollers during a special retirement ceremony.
5. Robert Lindstedt
- Career Doubles Record: 441-375 (54%)
- Career Doubles Titles: 23 (1 major)
- Career High Doubles Ranking: 3
A former Pepperdine University standout, Robert Lindstedt turned pro in 1998 and enjoyed a 23-year long career on the ATP doubles circuit. The most prestigious title of his doubles resume came in 2014 when he won the Australian Open with Lukasz Kubot.
Among his 23 doubles titles, his most successful partnership was with Horia Tecau. The Swedish-Romanian duo won 10 titles together, including an ATP Masters 1000 trophy in Cincinnati, and finished runner-up three consecutive times at Wimbledon from 2010-2012.
Lindstedt closed out the last chapter of his career by sharing the court with countryman Andre Goransson in front of a home Swedish crowd at the 2021 Stockholm Open. He was honored with a retirement ceremony with other prominent Swedes in attendance including Thomas Enqvist, Jonas Bjorkman, Robin Soderling, and Simon Aspelin.
“It’s amazing. I don’t know if I’m going through some sort of shock or something, but it’s a big part of my life and some of these guys are my best friends. It was really nice that the tournament and the ATP did something nice for me and it means a lot to me. I’m going to always remember that.”Robert Lindstedt
6. David Marrero
- Career Doubles Record: 247-216 (53%)
- Career Doubles Titles: 14
- Career High Doubles Ranking: 5
David Marrero is one of many Spanish players in the 2010s who achieved notable doubles careers. During 2011-2015, he reached five major quarterfinal appearances: two at the Australian Open, one at Roland Garros, and two at the U.S. Open.
Marrero also won his biggest career title during this five-year stretch. He and fellow Spaniard Fernando Verdasco upset the Bryan Brothers in a closely contested championship match to win the 2013 ATP Tour Finals. As a result, Marrero achieved a career-high doubles ranking of No. 5 by the end of 2013.
Similar to Marc Lopez, his best doubles results came when partnering with fellow Spanish players. He and Fernando Verdasco won seven of Marrero’s 14 career titles together between 2012-2013. He also won two titles with Marc Lopez.
To pay it forward to the next generation of Spanish tennis players, Marrero helped start an ATP Challenger event in his hometown of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, where he currently serves as tournament director.
“Bringing tennis back to my city of Gran Canaria gives me great pride. I am very happy to have accepted the offer to do this, because in the future I would love to continue being linked to the world of tennis as a director, as a coach or as an organizer. Tennis is my passion and my life.”David Marrero
7. Ken Skupski
- Career Doubles Record: 137-150 (48%)
- Career Doubles Titles: 7
- Career High Doubles Ranking: 44
Before Neal Skupski, there was older brother Ken who paved the way. A former NCAA standout at Louisiana State University, Ken Skupski turned pro in 2001 after finishing as six-time All-American during his collegiate tennis career.
Skupski’s grand slam highlights included a pair of quarterfinal appearances at 2017 Wimbledon with Neal Skupski and the 2020 Australian Open with Santiago Gonzalez. His partnership with younger brother Neal inked the most successful team on his doubles resume. The Skupski brothers won three titles together, including Ken’s biggest career title in Acapulco at the 2021 ATP 500 Mexican Open.
Since retiring from professional doubles, Ken has begun serving as Neal’s coach on tour. He must be doing something right after Neal Skupski’s incredible 2022 season with 7 ATP titles and the world no. 1 doubles ranking.
8. Nick Monroe
- Career Doubles Record: 152-211 (42%)
- Career Doubles Titles: 4 ATP Titles, 13 Challenger Titles
- Career High Doubles Ranking: 30
Nick Monroe Interview: Nick talks doubles strategy, matchday routines, playing with different partners, & being a Tennis Channel Analyst on the Doubles Only Podcast.
A resident of Austin, TX, and friend of The Tennis Tribe, 40-year-old Nick Monroe announced his retirement before the 2022 U.S. Open. During his last professional tournament, he and partner Keegan Smith made it to the U.S. Open second round before falling to the tough Italian duo of Simone Bolelli and Fabio Fognini.
Monroe was a two-time major quarterfinalist at the 2017 U.S. Open and 2020 Roland Garros. He won four career ATP doubles titles between 2013-2018 with four different partners: Simon Stadler (2013 Bastad), Johan Brunstorm (2014 Bastad), Jack Sock (2015 Stockholm), and John-Patrick Smith (2018 Atlanta).
While his playing career may be over, it’s evident that Monroe will remain an active member of the professional tennis ecosystem. Over the past few years, he has worked periodically for The Tennis Channel as an analyst.
In 2022, he helped organize the inaugural All-American Cup, an exhibition event highlighting the top American male players, last November in San Antonio. According to the Mini-Break Podcast, Monroe will also be coaching Jack Sock in 2023.
Which Doubles Players Will Retire in 2023?
Who do you think will be the next ATP doubles players to hang up their racquets in 2023? Follow the Tennis Tribe on social media for up-to-date doubles coverage throughout the year.
- Twitter: @the_tennistribe
- Instagram: @thetennistribe
- Facebook: The Tennis Tribe
- LinkedIn: The Tennis Tribe
Leave a Reply