• Tennis

Nalbandian announces retirement

ESPN staff
October 1, 2013
David Nalbandian lost the Brazil Open final to Rafael Nadal in February © Getty Images

David Nalbandian, a 2002 Wimbledon finalist who spent five straight years ranked in the top 10, has announced his retirement because of a shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old Argentine called it a "difficult day," but added he was "super grateful" to the sport of tennis.

"The shoulder does not respond well," he said at a press conference in Beunos Aires. "I cannot compete at ATP level."

Before Wimbledon in 2012, Nalbandian was disqualified for injuring a line judge during the Queen's Club final by kicking an advertisement board. A piece of the barrier hit the judge, cutting him on his left shin. Nalbandian lost nearly £45,000 in prize money and fines.

Due to his disqualification, he forfeited the ranking points he was set to receive, ending his chances of being a seeded player at Wimbledon and facing an easier opponent in the first round. He lost his opening match in straight sets.

Nalbandian spent 13 years on the tour, becoming world No. 3 in 2006. At Wimbledon in 2002, he lost to Lleyton Hewitt in the final. He reached the semi-finals at the other three grand slam tournaments.

This year, he played only 11 times, including a run to the final at the Brazil Open where he lost to Rafael Nadal. His current ranking is No. 231. He won 11 singles titles, most recently in 2010 in Washington.

Nalbandian said his greatest regret was not being able to help Argentina win the Davis Cup - he was a losing finalist in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

His final appearance will be an exhibition match against Nadal on November 23 in Buenos Aires.

Download ESPN's new UK sport app, a fresh and powerful new way to follow your favourite UK sports news, scores and video.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
ESPN staff Close