Veteran Taiwanese tennis player Lu Yen-hsun (盧彥勳) on Sunday announced his retirement after losing to world No. 5 Alexander Zverev of Germany in the first round of the men’s singles at the Tokyo Olympic Games. It took 59 minutes for 24-year-old Zverev to defeat 37-year-old Lu 6-1, 6-3.
Lu, a five-time Olympian with a 20-year career as a professional, had previously announced that he would retire from the sport after the Tokyo Olympics. He was one of the flag bearers for Taiwan at the Olympics opening ceremony.
After playing his last match yesterday morning, Lu told reporters that he felt proud, even though the end of his career was not exactly perfect.
Photo: Lin Cheng-kung, Taipei Times
“I had the courage to give my everything on the court,” Lu said.
“Although I could not stand on the podium for the Olympics trophy ceremony, I feel like I have already stood on my own podium and I feel nothing but pride for myself,” he said.
Lu, first competed as an Olympian in Athens in 2004, with his best finish a round-of-16 showing in Beijing in 2008 after knocking out Andy Murray in the first round.
Lu turned pro in 2001, and is best known for his performance at Wimbledon in 2010 when he became the first Taiwanese to reach the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam championship and the first man from Asia to reach the quarter-finals of a major in 15 years.
He has a career record of 162-230 in singles events and his highest world ranking was No. 33.
Vice President William Lai (賴清德) thanked Lu.
“You are the pride of Taiwan. Thank you for playing your last career match representing Taiwan at the Tokyo Olympics,” Lai wrote on Facebook.
Also yesterday, Taiwanese tennis duo Hsieh Yu-chieh (謝語倢) and Hsu Chieh-yu (許絜瑜) were eliminated after losing to two-time French Opens champions Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova of the Czech Republic 2-6, 1-6, in the first round of the women’s doubles.
Hsieh is the younger sister of this year’s Wimbledon women’s doubles champion Hsieh Su-wei (謝淑薇). It was the pair’s first Olympics appearance and they only learned that they would be competing one week before the Tokyo Games began.
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