By Mike McIntyre
German professional tennis player Nicolas Kiefer announced his retirement effective immediately from the ATP World Tour on Thursday. The news came via his official website.
Kiefer, who became a first-time father in August, has decided he wants to focus more on his family life. The 33 year old was once thought to be the successor to compatriot Boris Becker but never achieved the same levels of success as a pro tennis player.
The man they nicknamed "Kiwi" reached a career high of No. 4 in the world in 2000, won six tournaments during his career and reached the semi-finals of the Aussie Open in 2006. It was in Australia where he enjoyed the most Grand Slam success, also reaching the quarterfinals in 1998 and 2000. Kiefer teamed up with Rainier Schuettler to win a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics in Doubles competition.
Kiefer will be remembered for his fiery temperment on court that often rubbed his fellow players the wrong way. He will also be spoken of in the same breath as fellow German Tommy Haas. Both players emerged during the post-Becker years with enormous pressure on their shoulders and oddly enough both saw their career hampered by several injuries.
In 2010 Kiefer was limited to a record of 1-4 and played what turned out to be the final match of his career at Wimbledon where he lost in straight sets in the first round against David Ferrer. His most memorable result in recent memory was an appearance in the finals of the 2008 Masters 1000 event in Toronto, Canada, where he lost to Rafael Nadal in the championship match.
Kiefer ends his playing days with a professional record of 366 wins compared with 274 defeats.