Prague, Czech Republic: Injury-plagued veteran Radek Stepanek said on Tuesday he would quit tennis after a professional career spanning 21 years and including two Davis Cup and two Grand Slam doubles titles.
"I knew a tennis career was limited, but I wanted it to last as long as possible," the 38-year-old Czech told reporters.
"I have fought until my last breath but it's time to go now," he added.
Stepanek has won five ATP singles crowns, 18 doubles and two Grand Slam doubles titles, with India's Leander Paes at the 2012 Australian Open and the 2013 US Open.
Together with Tomas Berdych, Stepanek led the Czech Republic to Davis Cup titles in 2012 and 2013, becoming the first player ever to win two decisive fifth rubbers in two consecutive Davis Cup finals.
Already popular among fans for his colourful playing style, involving wild fist-pumping and jumps of all sorts, Stepanek became a national hero after the wins.
For Davis Cup ties, he wore a T-shirt he had designed, with a big lion design on the front, a symbol of his country, complete with the state emblem -- and which Andy Murray's mother Judy once called "staggeringly bad".