Israeli Wimbledon veteran doubles player Jonathan Erlich considering retirement


Israeli Wimbledon veteran doubles player Jonathan Erlich may quit competitive tennis after failing to reach the second round of this year’s tournament.

With career prize money estimated around $2.5million ($44,000 dollars so far this year) perhaps this is the year he finally retires?

“Maybe we see at the end of the year. But I say this every year and every year I come back. But now I’m 40,” said Erlich.

Despite throwing everything his experience could muster, Erlich could not propel himself into the second round at Wimbledon. During the gruelling 4hours 34 minutes five-set marathon he and his Philippine partner Treat Huey could not raise their level sufficiently to beat sixth seeds Ivan Dodig and Marvel Granoliers, crashing out the tournament 7-6 6-3 6-7 6-7 6-4.   

It was a bitter defeat for the former two-time semi-finalist in 2003 and 2015.  

“I’m very disappointed and very tired,” said Erlich.

“It was very long and I thought we were the better team on court and we could win, especially after the first set, but that’s life. 

“I skipped the mixed doubles this year as I thought: ‘I’m 40 years old and if I have long exhausting matches like this and I win, then tomorrow I definitely need to rest.’”  

“Yes I’m still moving well, but I’m getting on and I’m getting tired. If I didn’t enjoy it so much I would quit.  I love being here at Wimbledon and the Grand Slams.  I think I’m still good enough to play against these guys. Even top seeds and specialists on grass. So if I have the energy to go one more year I will be back. 

“But it also depends on how much more my family can take it. Going away from home so many weeks of the year.  I have an amazing wife who is very supportive. We actually celebrated our 10th anniversary last month.  

“The kids are growing up and really understand. They all travel with me as much as possible, so we figure out the balance in between. The family will travel with me now during the  school holidays when I go to America for the hard-court season, so I still look forward to the summer.”

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