Marcos Baghdatis returned to Cyprus late Saturday after retiring from his career as a professional tennis player with a final stint at Wimbledon.
He told reporters at the airport, where family and friends gathered to greet him, that he was proud and satisfied because throughout his career he was able to give the chance to young children to believe in themselves.
The 34-year-old said that his career had been fantastic for him and that his family and friends had big dreams for him.
Baghdatis said he wanted to thank everyone who helped him become a better athlete and a better human being.
He expressed the hope that Greek athletes Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkaris would continue the tradition Greece and Cyprus had managed to build within the sport and to continue giving young children the confidence that they can succeed in whatever they dream of doing.
Baghdatis who had slipped to 134 in the world rankings, has enjoyed a 15-year career on the ATP Tour, reaching the Australian Open final in 2006 and the semi-finals at Wimbledon later that year, which saw him rise to a career-high number eight in the world rankings.
The Limassolian is hanging up his racket after amassing nearly $9 million in prize money. Between 2006 and 2010, he won four ATP singles titles in Beijing, Zagreb, Stockholm and Sydney.