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Fee
04-07-2008, 04:49 PM
http://www.atptennis.com/1/en/2008news/mantilla_retires.asp
ATP PLAYER NEWS
April 7, 2008
Mantilla Retires from Professional Tennis © Getty Images
http://www.atptennis.com/5/photos/2008/mantilla_retires.jpg
Former Top 10 player Felix Mantilla has announced his retirement from professional tennis, a year after returning to the ATP circuit following his successful fight against skin cancer.

The 33-year-old Mantilla captured his final title in 2003 at the ATP Masters Series event in Rome, but he celebrated one of his most significant victories last year in his hometown event in Barcelona when he defeated Uzbekistani Farrukh Dustov in the first round.

When a wrist injury forced him to visit the doctor instead of attending a two-month training camp in Cuba in late 2005, the Spaniard learned that he had a cancerous mole on his back - which left undiagnosed could have been fatal. Mantilla had the mole removed and a follow-up biopsy showed he was cancer-free, but he still elected to sit out the 2006 season.

He said: "It was more psychological. I was afraid to be playing. I didn't like it. Maybe it's the reaction that happens when you have the shock, the doctor tells you that you can die and you say, 'Wait, I am going to try to enjoy my life like I want.' In that moment, tennis was not the first priority."

But last April, a No. 1009-ranked Mantilla decided to step back onto the courts for the first time in 18 months, first at a Challenger event in Italy and then the ATP event in Barcelona.
"I didnít want to end my career in that moment [his cancer scare]," said Mantilla after his first round win in Barcelona. "I was a fighter during all my years and I wanted to decide to finish when I want, not in that moment. Thatís why I came back. Itís important for me, also to be back out in the sun, how I react.

"Now, in this moment I am enjoying more the small things. The [first-round] win is bigger for me maybe than winning tournaments before. Maybe people donít understand that but if I understand that myself, itís enough."

It proved Mantilla's last match win at the ATP-level, as he fell in his opening round matches in his appearances at Amersfoort and Umag in July. In June, he came up just shy of the Challenger title in Reggio Emilia, Italy, losing to Frenchman Olivier Patience in a third set tie-break.

Mantilla compiled a 313-218 ATP match record and 10 clay titles during his professional tennis career, enjoying his most successful season in 1997, when he won a career-high five titles in six finals and posted 42 clay victories. A year later, he broke into the Top 10 after reaching a Grand-Slam best semifinals at Roland Garros.

BlUe 182 BanAna
04-07-2008, 05:12 PM
i feel you man, one good tennis player

vbranis
04-07-2008, 05:17 PM
Awesome player, hard-worker, he'll be missed. :(

Fee
04-07-2008, 05:57 PM
I was kind of hoping he would play a little bit longer and put a spotlight on the sunscreen/skin cancer issue that tennis players face. He had a very good career and he went out on his terms.

ja_
04-07-2008, 08:18 PM
Whenever he got the chance, he'd mention the risk of skin cancer. The issue really doesn't get as much attention as it should; maybe Felix will be a spokesman about it?

Never got to see him play much, but when he was on I'd watch, and root for him on the "live" scoreboard. Great player and, from what I've read, a talented musician to an extent.

Good on ya, Felix. 'Ppreciate it.

Thanks for posting, Fee.

chiru
04-07-2008, 08:21 PM
yah, always sad to see one of the guys that you grew up watching call it quits. you'll be missed felix.

jmsx521
04-07-2008, 08:35 PM
Great tennis player! Ripped the ball -- in terms of top-spin -- only third in line of strength, behind Nadal and Bruguera. Maybe he'll pull a Kimiko Date in a couple of years!

insiderman
04-08-2008, 02:05 PM
One player I can proudly call not just a; 'Client', but a good friend! Viva Fellie-Man! Have fun @ University~ See you soon Amigo...

Leelord337
04-08-2008, 02:10 PM
not to mention Paul Goldstein's retirement.

9000tennis
04-09-2008, 02:26 AM
One of my favorites. Always a fighter.
I have his match from 97 Stuttgart Outdoor against Kuerten, where Kuerten retires 4-1 in the first set. That's all I have, but I'm gonna look at that right now.
Thanks for some great tennis Felix.

pound cat
04-09-2008, 04:50 AM
One of my favorites. Always a fighter.
I have his match from 97 Stuttgart Outdoor against Kuerten, where Kuerten retires 4-1 in the first set. That's all I have, but I'm gonna look at that right now.
Thanks for some great tennis Felix.


I saw him in Toronto in 2002 and I still remember those piercing blue contact lenses which must have hypnotised a few opponents.

Adios Felix.

matchmaker
04-10-2008, 02:45 PM
Good player, he actually could have gone higher than the number 10 spot. I would say he had more talent than Ferrer or Robredo, or anyway a more complete game.