David Nalbandian has announced his retirement from tennis
The 31-year-old cited his failure to overcome a shoulder problem as reason
Argentine Reached a career high of No.3 in the world in March 2006
Won 11 singles titles and reached final of Wimbledon in 2002
David Nalbandian has announced his retirement from tennis after failing to overcome a troublesome shoulder injury.
The 31-year-old, who reached the semifinal of every grand slam and finished as runner up to Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon in 2002, reached a career high of No.3 in the world back in March 2006.
“It’s a sad day but the shoulder is not responding well,” he told a press conference in Buenos Aires Tuesday.
“As a result I can no longer compete at ATP level.”
Nalbandian, currently ranked 231 in the world, has been blighted by injuries in recent years and has failed to repeat the exploits of his younger years.
The last of his 11 singles titles came in Washington three years ago.
Nalbandian became the first ever Argentine to reach the Wimbledon final and first from South American to do so since 1959.
In 2005, he became the first Argentine to win the year-end championship since Guillermo Vilas triumphed in 1974.
But it was his determination to help his country win the Davis Cup which endeared him to his fans.
He boasted a 39-11 record and helped Argentina finish as runner up in 2006, 2008 and 2011.
“It’s the event that I felt was different from the others,” he said of the Davis Cup.
“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 has been hampered with injuries since undergoing shoulder surgery in 2009.
He underwent further surgery on his hip and shoulder in May after suffering injury interrupted seasons for the past three years.
A fiery and determined competitor, he courted controversy in June 2012 after being disqualified in the ATP Queen’s Club final after kicking down an advertising board which injured a court side official.
Line judge Andrew McDougall suffered a gash to his leg and stood up to protest to the player.
Nalbandian was officially defaulted for “unsportsmanlike behavior” before returning to apologize to the crowd.
His final appearance will be an exhibition match against Rafael Nadal on November 23 in Buenos Aires.