The tennis circuit has seen some men with high caliber, displaying precision and finesse in their shot-making. These were players who won several hearts all across the world, raising the level of expectations, but despite being immensely talented, their cabinet was deprived of a Grand Slam trophy. While players like David Ferrer and Stanislas Wawrinka still continue their quest for the coveted trophy, a talented player David Nalbandian, has decided to call it quits. Injuries have put an end to his sinusoidal career sans a major title.
Retirement due to injury is not a very ideal way to bid adieu. But David Nalbandian has made the right decision as frequent injuries hampered his form off late. In 2013, the fans hardly saw him on-court as he played only 11 matches this year. Though he made it to the final of Brazil Open in March 2013, he lost to eventual champion Rafael Nadal.
Also, his rankings suffered. Once number three player of the world, he slipped to 231 in the rankings after repeated injuries – which eventually made him announce his retirement.
David Nalbandian loved to be in news. He either stunned top seeds, or remained off-court due to injuries, or showed his temperamental antics on court.
His fans will miss his magical two-handed backhanded down-the-line, often cited as one of best in men’s circuit. He is also one of the best returners of the game. In 2002, he was runner-up to Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon and in 2006 he reached a career-high ranking of world number three 3. A winner of 11 ATP Tour titles, David was a delight to watch in his prime. He was part of the Argentine Davis Cup squad in three finals – 2006, 2008 and 2011. In fact, in 2007 Madrid Masters, the 31-year-old defeated Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in succession. Nalbandian has reached the semi-finals at all four Grand Slam tournaments during his career.
The world will perhaps remember him for his famous five-set comeback victory against Roger Federer in the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup final. Younger than Roger Federer by five months, his rivalry with the Swiss legend began right from the junior circuit where he beat him in the US Open junior final. He was leading 5-0 head-to-head against Roger before the Swiss overtook him to lead 11-8.
But in temperament, he was no saint. In 2012, he literally injured a line judge after kicking an advertising board at his leg at Queen`s Club. He was disqualified from the match and had to pay a heavy fine. His racket smashing antics have also caused him ranking points, matches and money. At Australian Open in 2012, he was fined $8,000 for throwing water at a staff member.
Injuries have always restrained him from being in prime form. Much-like his compatriot Jaun Martin del Porto – he too could not play to his threshold.
Nalbandian’s career has also seen lots of ups and downs due to injuries. In May 2009, he underwent a hip surgery that ruled him out from the remaining season. Abdominal injury forced him to withdraw from Australian Open 2010. Of late, his shoulder caused him lots of trouble. In fact, it was this injury that forced him to take the tough decision of retirement.
A roller-coaster ride full of highs and lows – can sum up David Nalbandian’s tennis career. An entertaining player, the Argentine will definitely be missed by his loyal fans. But they will get a last chance to see him play in an exhibition match against Nadal on November 23 in Buenos Aires.
Adios Amigos David Nalbandian!