2002 Wimbledon runner-up, David Nalbandian, has made a life-changing decision this week – one that places a stark sense of finality on his professional tennis career. Tuesday, October 1 was a day that Nalbandian classified as ‘difficult,’ given his untimely announcement, declaring his retirement from professional tennis. However, the decision wasn’t solely voluntarily, as his current shoulder injury leaves him no choice, New York Times reports.
The 31-year-old, former No. 3 expressed his gratitude to Wimbledon for the tenure of his career, stating that he was ‘super grateful’ for the Wimbledon tournament, as well as the sport itself. He also explained that his shoulder “did not respond well to treatment.” The Argentine athlete concluded the conference by stating that he ‘could not compete.’
Nalbandian reached the height of his career at No. 3 in the 2006 rankings after spending five years of continuity in the top 10. He traveled the ATP tour for a total of 13 years, reaching all four of the Grand Slam semi-final tournaments. However, in 2002, Nalbandian suffered defeat at the hands of Australian tennis player, Lleyton Hewitt.
As a top contender for Wimbledon in 2012, Nalbandian was fined and disqualified due to the injury of a line judge. He forcefully kicked an advertising board during the Queen’s Club final tune-up tournament. A portion of the barrier from the advertising board hit the judge in the left shin, causing bloodshed. Nalbandian was fined roughly $70,000, in addition to being placed at fault for the line judge’s injuries. Nalbandian additionally suffered further consequences in the form of forfeiture in ranking points. He also wasn’t seeded that month, due to the incident, which equated to him losing a chance to face a more competitive opponent in the first round. The turn of events were major factors to Nalbandian losing his opening match.
Before concluding the news conference, Nalbandian stated his biggest regret, which was not being a contributing factor for Argentina bringing home the Davis Cup. However, he was a standing candidate for runner-up teams in 2006, 2008, and 2011.
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