Wednesday, 2 October 2013

ADIOS DAVID NALBANDIAN... Argentine Legend Bids Farewell to Tennis

David Nalbandian - The Championships - Wimbledon 2012: Day One

Argentina’s David Nalbandian yesterday announced his retirement from professional tennis after 13 years on the ATP World Tour. He amassed 11 titles and reached a career-high World No. 3 in 2006. He finished in the year-end Top 10 of the Emirates ATP Rankings five times.

Nalbandian cited a shoulder injury as the cause of his decision. "I can play matches, but my shoulder won't let me continue my career," he shared with the media in Buenos Aires. "I can't play like that at a [professional] level.

"It's tough because I have to announce my retirement from the sport that gave me so much. I'm very grateful."

Nalbandian beat Roger Federer in a fifth-set tie-break to hoist the Tennis Masters Cup trophy in 2005.

In 2007, he captured back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies in Madrid and Paris. Nalbandian defeated both Federer and Rafael Nadal at each event en route to the title.

Nalbandian played the final of Wimbledon in 2002 (l. to Hewitt). He also reached the semi-finals of the 2006 Australian Open, 2002 Roland Garros and the 2003 US Open.

The 31 year old also represented Argentina in three Davis Cup teams that reached the final, in 2004, 2008, 2011, which he considered one of his best memories. "It's the event that I felt was different from the others," he reminisced. "The pressure, the support of the people. It's something unique. It's a shame [Argentina] couldn't win it, but it's the way it was."

Nalbandian reached his last final at the Brasil Open in Sao Paulo earlier this year, losing to Nadal in the Spaniard's second tournament back to the ATP World Tour after an injury layoff.

After announcing his retirement from the ATP World Tour at a media conference, Nalbandian took to Twitter to say that he would play a series of farewell exhibition matches with Nadal beginning 21 November. "It's a long way to those matches," said Nalbandian. "I'm still in rehab from my injuries and I need to keep training."

Argentine Top ranked player and world number 7 Martin Del Potro was quick to pay tribute to his idol: 

“David was a really good player," he said. "When he was fit he could beat anyone. He won big tournaments. We have lost a great player on the tour. I wish him all the best in the future.
“I remember, when I was younger, watching him reach the Wimbledon final. His [2005] Masters Cup win over Roger Federer [in 2005] and some of his Davis Cup wins against Russia also stand out in the memory.”

We at Sportunes wish David farewell, Buena Suerte... I usually regard him as the best player in tennis history without a grandslam.

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