Johannesburg - South African tennis player Rik de Voest ended his career with a 6-4 6-7 6-4 defeat to 18 year-old Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis, but remained upbeat about his time on the courts of the world.
"I played hard until the end and finished with a smile," said Rik De Voest following his second round defeat and retiring from tournament tennis at the Odlam Brown Challenger event in Vancouver on Thursday.
The 34 year-old De Voest's final tournament appearance epitomised his never-say-die approach to a career that stretched over 16 years.
In his previous match, De Voest had been down a set, a break point and match point before coming back for a nail-biting 4-6 7-6 (4) 7-6 (4) victory against Jason Jung of the United States.
De Voest announced his pending retirement on Monday.
Meanwhile, South African tennis received another jolt on Friday when top player Kevin Anderson went down 3-6 7-6 (3) 6-2 to the 73rd-ranked American, Donald Young, in the Washington Open.
Anderson slipped from 17th to 21st in the world's ranking last week after losing his first match at the Atlanta Open and needed to make good progress in Washington to regain a place in the top 20.
But after dominating the first set and dropping only three points on service, his play systematically deteriorated as the match progressed and he surrendered service twice in the final set for a shock and costly defeat.