At an October press conference, David Nalbandian announced his retirement from professional tennis. Though it was not surprising, considering his recent extensive surgeries, many were still sorry to have their hopes dashed of a final run at Davis Cup glory for the Argentinian player
Nalbandian: “El hombro no me respondió bien. Y así no puedo competir al nivel ATP. Es muy duro anunciar el retiro”. pic.twitter.com/xXEJD4ZpvH
— Fernando Grisolía (@FerGrisolia) October 1, 2013
After his press conference, David tweeted confirmation of his farewell from tennis, though fans will still get a chance to see him play an exo with Rafael Nadal in November.
El partido con Rafa el 21/11 en Córdoba será el inicio de mi despedida del tenis profesional.
— David Nalbandian (@nalbandiandavid) October 1, 2013
As a nod to his extensive tennis career, we thought we’d do a little picspam in honor of the 31-year-old, former World #3 and Masters Cup (now World Tour Finals) winner.
Seeing David Nalbandian play live, you may at first notice the striking profile, or the curly blonde mullet, or the intense passion he brings to the court. But when he played his best, the impression you left with was of his incredible skill at tennis, the admirable variety of his shots in speed, power, placement, and just plain creativity.
While Nalbandian’s level of play grew more erratic in recent years, there were still chances to see him work his magic. What I loved most was how intuitive he could be–how he could speed his way all around the court and, without any hesitation, anticipate exactly where his opponent would hit the ball and get himself into position to hit a wicked volley, smash, or winner down the line. All great players anticipate, but Nalby’s smooth counterattacks often seemed practically psychic.
Here he is at his victorious year’s end in 2005, doing a duel and a dance of tennis with Roger Federer:
At the 2012 Cincinnati Open, we had the pleasure of seeing Nalbandian take on another master of all-court tennis, Tommy Haas. The match was full of ups-and-downs, shifts in momentum, and a hot mess of brilliance mixed in with crazy errors. Though Nalby eventually fell to his five-time nemesis, 6-7(0), 7-6(4), 6-3, it was a wild, exciting match with plenty of great Nalby tennis to admire.
…and arguing with the umpire about it on the changeover…
And yes, Daveed, we are staring at you and your blonde, peach-fuzz facial hair. 🙂
A warm handshake after the battle on the court.
Here are highlights from the match…so many winners…
Of course we have to give a nod to David at Davis Cup, where he devotedly played his best tennis and did whatever he could to try and get a victory for Argentina. Here we have his celebratory hugs with partner Eduardo Schwank and teammate Juan Monaco, after Nalbandian and Schwank scored a doubles victory over Lopez and Verdasco of Spain in December 2011.
@nalbandiandavid “Los recuerdos de la Davis son los que más me emocionan, los que me hacen lagrimear.”
— Todo sobre tenis (@Tsobretenis) October 1, 2013
We leave you with this, Nalby as US Open Junior Champ in 1998, where he beat Fed in the final.
El primer impacto de Nalbandian. Campeón del US Open junior 1998, derrotando a Federer en la final. Foto: pic.twitter.com/AkvhcekuQF.
— Fernando Grisolía (@FerGrisolia) October 2, 2013
You might also enjoy: Andy Roddick, Tennis Player and Magician, Retires from Professional Tennis
PHOTOS: c2012, 2011 Valerie David for TennisInsideOut.com. Davis Cup 2011 screencaps, fair use.