(Victor Estrella Burgos)

Former world No. 43 Victor Estrella Burgos played the final singles match of his career on Tuesday in front of a packed crowd at an ATP Challenger event in his home country.

The 39-year-old, who captured the ATP crown at the clay-court event in Quito for three consecutive years from 2015-2017, received an extended ovation following his, 6-2, 6-2, second-round defeat to fourth seed Thiago Monteiro in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Two years ago, he won this very event, triumphing in the final over Damir Dzumhur.

Estrella Burgos was a groundbreaker, and late bloomer, by all accounts. Like many in his homeland, baseball was his first passion. He didn’t focus on tennis until he was 14, extremely late for a future professional athlete pursuing any sport. Unsurprisingly, funding was an issue for a player hailing from a nation with little to no tennis footprint, but Estrella Burgos’ passion and unwavering spirit kept him going.

Before becoming the ATP’s oldest first-time winner in the Open Era at Quito four years ago, Estrella Burgos was the first from his country to break inside the Top 100 at the age of 33 in 2014. His rise into the upper echelon of the game enabled entry into every major tournament, another pioneering effort, and he would eventually earn main draw victories at all four Slams. A long time Davis Cup participant, Estrella Burgos went on to represent his country at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The home favorite will take the court Wednesday night in doubles alongside compatriot Nick Hardt. The wild card duo will face Argentine pair Facundo Bagnis and Facundo Mena.