9 Nov 2009

Santoro to retire from tennis

5:49 am on 9 November 2009

The French tennis player Fabrice Santoro has pulled the curtain on a remarkable and atypical career by losing to American James Blake in the first round of the Paris Masters.

The oldest player on the men's circuit, Santoro, who will turn 37 next month, confirmed after a 6-4 6-3 defeat that he was now retiring.

The pocket-sized Santoro, once nicknamed "the magician" by Pete Sampras for his habit of mystifying bigger, stronger opponents, had earlier suggested he might play the Australian Open in January before bowing out.