Czech veteran Novak to take back seat

Czech tennis veteran Jiri Novak, once ranked fifth in the world, ended his top playing career after a second round loss at the Swiss Indoor tournament in Basel on Thursday. The 31-year old had already declared that Basel, where he won the last of his seven major singles tournaments two years ago, would be his last major competition. Novak, now 122 in the ATP rankings, has been plagued over the last year by injury problems. He still counts on playing in smaller tournaments. Jiri Novak reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in 2002 and was for many years the Czech number one player.