Earlier this summer, 36-year-old Scott Lipsky announced his retirement via a statement on social media. The note brought an end to a successful 15-year professional career that got its start right here on Long Island, and started a new chapter in Lipsky’s life.
“I thought about retiring for most of last year, but then I tore my left knee. Rehab was really rough, and it took a while to get back to 100 percent,” said Lipsky. “It made me think about what else I wanted to do with my life. So I started to put things in motion while I was still playing, with the goal of finishing my career at the French Open.”
He did indeed play his last match at the French Open, pairing with Tennys Sandgren at Roland Garros for the final ATP World Tour tournament of his career.
“I’m happy I made the decision to stop,” Lipsky said. “I knew there were going to be times where I missed it, but I’m happy to be home. Retirement has been nice, especially not having to travel for 30 or so weeks out of the year, and I get to spend more time with my family.”
Lipsky enjoyed great success as a doubles player throughout his career, winning 16 men’s doubles titles and capturing a Grand Slam championship in mixed doubles as he paired with Australian Casey Dellacqua to win the 2011 French Open.
He reached the quarterfinals in doubles at each of the four Grand Slams, including the U.S. Open semifinals in 2014 alongside Rajeev Ram.
“We got to play the Bryan Brothers on Ashe which was pretty cool,” recalls Lipsky. “We actually got to play two matches on Ashe that week. It was pretty intense playing in that big of a stadium, but I really enjoyed that.”
Lipsky now lives in Orange County, Calif. with his wife, Marie, and son, Matthew. With his playing days in the rearview mirror, Lipsky has thrown his hat into the coaching ring. He has been coaching a few top juniors this summer, and is set to coach the Men’s and Women’s Tennis teams at St. Margaret Episcopal School.
A high school star himself during his time at John F. Kennedy High School in Bellmore, N.Y. before being a standout at Stanford University, Lipsky understands the importance and value of competing on a team in tennis.
“I played two years of high school tennis before Stanford, and I enjoyed all of the team aspects of it, because in general, tennis is such an individual sport,” Lipsky said. “I encourage any player who wants to be part of a team to definitely play high school tennis.”
Prior to his retirement, Lipsky did have the opportunity to compete in the inaugural New York Open at the Nassau Coliseum, just a few miles down the road from where he grew up.
“It was great. I grew up going to The Hamlet in Commack, so having pro tennis back on Long Island was something that was missing for a long time,” said Lipsky. “I went to many hockey games at the Coliseum growing up, so being on the other side of that and having people watch me play there was surreal. I wish I could have won a couple more matches there, but I really enjoyed my New York Open experience.”
“I’ve been at the U.S. Open every year since I was six or seven, so this year will definitely be a little different,” Lipsky said. “But I’ll watch from afar with my friends and family.”
As he reflects and looks back at his near two-decade run on the Pro Tour, Lipsky is proud of the life and career he has built to which he attributes to the sport of tennis.
“I remember playing in small tournaments when I first started, and it took about a year of playing and winning until I could break even financially,” Lipsky said about his early days as a pro. “It was a tough three to four years when you play in small towns with hardly anyone watching and for very little money. But you have to put your head down and keep grinding to move up. I am proud of being able to have played for 15 years. I bought a house, and have a wife and son, all through tennis. It was a great career and I enjoyed almost every moment of it. It was a fun ride.”
Brian Coleman is the Senior Editor for Long Island Tennis Magazine. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.