Retired: David Nalbandian

The King of Cordoba

It was inevitable but sad nonetheless that David Nalbandian has hung up his racket.

As a personal favorite of mine, David was one of the few players in the last 15 years that could play sublime tennis. When he was on, he was unplayable. His backhand goes down as one of the best of all time and his deft touch at the net and court smarts were a joy to watch.

In 2007, he captured back-to-back ATP World Tour Masters 1000 trophies in Madrid and Paris. Nalbandian defeated both Federer and Rafael Nadal at each event en route to the title. In fact he utterly destroyed Nadal in Paris. He was a Grand Slam performer and really should have picked up two. His final loss to Lleyton Hewitt in 2002 was disappointing but he was nervous. In Australia in 2006, he should have beaten Roddick and gone on to win the whole event. That year was the pinnacle of his career with a career high ranking of 3.

He was one of the few players that Federer and all the top players feared and respected during his prime and he had some great rivalries with Ferrer, Davydenko, Ljubicic and Roddick.

“I’ve had the fortune and the misfortune to meet basically two of the best tennis players of all time. That’s how I’ll summarise it for you, short and to the point. For me, it’s about Federer and Nadal. Roger broke all the records and Rafa is on the brink of doing it. To have shared that great era with them, to have won, lost and to have been at that kind of level has been an honour.”

Countryman Juan Martin Del Potro commented:

“David was a really good player. When he was fit he could beat anyone. He won big tournaments. We have lost a great player on the tour. I wish him all the best in the future.”

He has also established the David Nalbandian Foundation, which provides programs and projects for people with disabilities, oriented towards health and sports

He will play a series of farewell exhibition matches with Nadal beginning 21 November.

Reason to retire: Shoulder Injury
Career titles: 11
Win/Loss Record: 383/192
Career High Ranking: 3 (2006)
Finest moment: Beating Roger Federer in a fifth-set tie-break to hoist the Tennis Masters Cup trophy in 2005.
Famous For: Many things. Perhaps kicking a line judge at Queens but also reaching the Wimbledon final in 2002.
What Next?:  “I don’t have any plan. It’s still too recent and tough to think about in the coming months.

Watch: David Nalbandian’s Greatest Points

Read more: Tennis Enigmas: David Nalbandian

2 comments on “Retired: David Nalbandian

  1. Nalbandian was scary, i have never seen anything like it, and don´t think i will ever see anything like it Again. The backhand, even the forehand, the lob, the volleys, the dropshots, the use of the Whole Court, angles, depth touch, the guy had it all apart from a devastating serve. The topspin lob was, i mean, he played them all the time, and in the most difficult situations, he could play lobs on a smash from the opponent, when the ball was about to jump high he could take it on the rise and lob the oppoenent, i´ve never seen anyone do that apart from Nalbandian, his immense feel for the ball at net especially was also something out of the ordinary, his touch at net was almost similar to Sampras, during the later years, his groundstrokes was just, i mean, cmon! The placement, angle backhands on the run, devastating forehands dtl. on the dead run. Then he would yell. “Dallez”! or “Allez” Nalbandians answer to Rogers “Cmon” What a player, what a shotmaker!..

  2. The Guys finesse put Federers to shame i think, softer hands, especially on the forehand side. Better lobs, better dept touch, better groundstrokes off of both wings, more willing to create angles and overall had a more welroundet groundgame think, but about everything else, the GOAT did better by more than the Things David did better than Roger. David did all the spectacular Things well, but thats not enough to get you the Whole way always. But he was good, darn he was good.. People have a tendency to think that why Roger did what he did was because of his technique and ballstriking ability/touch, he have all of that, more than most. But its more a result of the physical, mental aspects that goes together with his talent. But i think David in terms of TALENT, was more talented than Federer..

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