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Kelly Slater's woeful 2016 continues in WA surf

  • Kelly Slater's woeful 2016 continues in WA surf

    The future of Kelly Slater appears uncertain after his elimination at the Margaret River Pro.

As one surfing veteran announces he's hanging up his board, the future of 11-time world champion Kelly Slater also appears uncertain.

Slater suffered his third underwhelming result of the 2016 World Surf League (WSL) on Saturday, eliminated in the second round of the Margaret River Pro in Western Australia by Italy's Leonardo Fioravanti.

The 18-year-old, only competing in the event as an injury replacement, notched a two-wave score of 16.60 out of 20 to beat Slater by 3.17 points.

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The second round exit comes after Slater was eliminated in the second round of the season-opening event on the Gold Coast and then knocked out in the third round of this month's Bells Beach Pro.

"When you get a guy like Leonardo who has nothing to lose and gets into the event as an injury replacement, he knows he has to go out there and have fun and be smart," Slater said.

"He had a game plan to be on the best waves and it worked out for him."

The result is sure to raise questions about the 44-year-old's future on the tour.

Slater's early exit came just hours after fellow veteran Taj Burrow announced he will quit the sport following the Fijian leg of the tour in June.

Burrow, 37, has been a perennial title contender but the Western Australian said the time was right to walk away from the competition.

"I've been trying to choose the right time to wrap up my competitive career," Burrow told the WSL website.

"Fiji's my last event - it's the weirdest thing ever but I'm wrapping it.

"I don't feel like my heart's in it so much, it's kind of that old story where I'm not totally applying myself.

"I don't really have the hunger to win anymore but losing still hurts as much as ever."

Burrow is through to the third round at Margaret River, where he'll face American Nat Young while Fioravanti's reward for eliminating Slater is a match-up with defending world champion Adriano de Souza.

Organisers will make a call on resuming competition on Sunday at 7am WA time (0900AEST).

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