Moya honored 4 days after retiring from tennis

Moya honored 4 days after retiring from tennis

Published Nov. 21, 2010 6:53 p.m. ET

Four days after retiring from tennis, former top-ranked player Carlos Moya was back on court and the center of attention.

This time he was wearing a suit instead of shorts and tennis shoes.

The 34-year-old Spaniard was honored Sunday at the ATP World Tour Finals for a 15-year career that included one Grand Slam title.

''It's always great when people remember you, even when you're not at the top,'' Moya said after getting a round of applause from the packed crowd at the O2 Arena. ''Although I didn't play great here at Wimbledon - well, I one year played fourth round - they treat me very well always.''


Moya, who won the 1998 French Open and reached the Australian Open final the year before, was brought out on court shortly after Andy Murray beat Robin Soderling 6-2, 6-4 in the opening match of the season-ending tournament for the top eight players in the world.

Moya, who ended his career because of a nagging foot injury, won 20 ATP titles and played his last match in May at the Madrid Masters. He became the first Spaniard to become No. 1 in the rankings, in March 1999.

He was an early training partner of Rafael Nadal, who is also from the island of Mallorca and was present at the ceremony.

''Knowing him for so long makes it special for me because the first time I met him he was just 11, 12 years old,'' Moya said of Nadal's success. ''When he was 13, 14 years old, we were practicing together. I was near the top 10 and sometimes he was beating me during the practice.

''I realized he had something special, but could never think that he could be that good, to be honest. He's one of the greatest ever. But he's on his way to become - who knows - but maybe the greatest. I could never expect that, to be honest.''


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