Former world number one Marcelo Rios has announced he plans to return to tennis as a player at the age of 43.
The Chilean quit 14 years ago, six years after reaching the Australian Open final in 1998.
He also spent six weeks at the top of the rankings that year, although he never won a Grand Slam in his career.
Now, though, he is determined to make a comeback and is driven by the ambition to become the oldest ever ATP champion – although he will restrict his efforts to the Challenger tour.
“I’ve been training with pretty high-level guys.” Rios said during an interview with La Tercera.
“There are no guys that plays badly. I’ve been getting tired and I’ve had to lose weight.
“I have lost 12 stone and has almost reached the weight I was when I was a player (on the tour).
“I’m happy, it’s something different.”
First on the agenda for Rios is the Ohio State Varsity Tennis Center and which gets underway on January 7th.
“If I had not felt good or I had not lost weight, I would not have made the decision.” He added.
“From here to 7th January I can injure myself, because I train a lot, but I would like to do it, to get a wild card, to try it.”
“Imagine: winning a challenger at 43 is nice, whatever it may be.
“I feel qualified to play it and win it. If I did not feel good playing, I would not.”
Croatian Ivo Karlovic is the current record holder. He won the Calgary Challenger this year at the age of 39 years and seven months.
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