Skip to main content

David Nalbandian retires from tennis

October 2, 2013 -- Updated 1121 GMT (1921 HKT)
David Nalbandian will play a final exhibition match against Rafael Nadal on November 23
David Nalbandian will play a final exhibition match against Rafael Nadal on November 23
  • David Nalbandian has announced his retirement from tennis
  • The 31-year-old cited his failure to overcome a shoulder problem as reason
  • Argentine Reached a career high of No.3 in the world in March 2006
  • Won 11 singles titles and reached final of Wimbledon in 2002

(CNN) -- David Nalbandian has announced his retirement from tennis after failing to overcome a troublesome shoulder injury.

The 31-year-old, who reached the semifinal of every grand slam and finished as runner up to Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon in 2002, reached a career high of No.3 in the world back in March 2006.

"It's a sad day but the shoulder is not responding well," he told a press conference in Buenos Aires Tuesday.

"As a result I can no longer compete at ATP level."

Nalbandian, currently ranked 231 in the world, has been blighted by injuries in recent years and has failed to repeat the exploits of his younger years.

Tennis pro booted for hurting judge
Tennis greats gather for ATP reunion
America's rising tennis star

The last of his 11 singles titles came in Washington three years ago.

Nalbandian became the first ever Argentine to reach the Wimbledon final and first from South American to do so since 1959.

In 2005, he became the first Argentine to win the year-end championship since Guillermo Vilas triumphed in 1974.

But it was his determination to help his country win the Davis Cup which endeared him to his fans.

He boasted a 39-11 record and helped Argentina finish as runner up in 2006, 2008 and 2011.

"It's the event that I felt was different from the others," he said of the Davis Cup.

"The pressure, the support of the people. It's something unique. It's a shame [Argentina] couldn't win it, but it's the way it was."

Nalbandian has been hampered with injuries since undergoing shoulder surgery in 2009.

He underwent further surgery on his hip and shoulder in May after suffering injury interrupted seasons for the past three years.

A fiery and determined competitor, he courted controversy in June 2012 after being disqualified in the ATP Queen's Club final after kicking down an advertising board which injured a court side official.

Line judge Andrew McDougall suffered a gash to his leg and stood up to protest to the player.

Nalbandian was officially defaulted for "unsportsmanlike behavior" before returning to apologize to the crowd.

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

Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1208 GMT (2008 HKT)
Rafael Nadal of Spain watches the ball in his match against Martin Klizan of Slovakia during during day seven of the China Open at the National Tennis Center on October 3, 2014 in Beijing, China.
Rafael Nadal's body might be giving him a few problems, but his mind remains as strong as ever. Will the Spaniard add to his haul of 14 grand slam titles?
November 24, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
A year that began in uncertainty for Roger Federer ended with a historic title for the 17-time grand slam champion and his country.
November 27, 2014 -- Updated 1716 GMT (0116 HKT)
The Scot has served up a few changes to his support team in 2014 but there's one person who isn't going anywhere -- his new fiancée Kim Sears.
September 11, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
French Tennis player Rene Lacoste, one of France's 'Four Musketeers' who won the Davis Cup in 1932, at Wimbledon. He is wearing his embroidered crocodile motif. Original Publication: People Disc - HH0434 (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)
His distinctive crocodile logo is seen on clothing all over the world, but Rene Lacoste also left a lasting legacy in the development of tennis.
September 9, 2014 -- Updated 0636 GMT (1436 HKT)
Marin Cilic follows in the footsteps of his coach Goran Ivanicevic by claiming a grand slam crown for Croatia, winning the U.S. Open.
September 14, 2014 -- Updated 1334 GMT (2134 HKT)
Serena Williams of the US holds the US Open trophy after defeating Caroline Wozniacki of Denmark during their US Open 2014 women's singles finals match at the USTA Billie Jean King National Center September 7, 2014 in New York. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Serena Williams is without peer in the modern women's game and now she is on a par with two American tennis legends from the past.
September 2, 2014 -- Updated 1321 GMT (2121 HKT)
American tennis player and golfer Althea Gibson (right) receives a kiss from compatriot Darlene Hard, whom she beat in two sets to become the first black woman to win the Women's Singles Finals at Wimbledon.
Over the course of her remarkable life, Althea Gibson was many things to many people -- but it was tennis where she really left her mark.
August 27, 2014 -- Updated 1145 GMT (1945 HKT)
Canada and tennis? Really? Yup. The North American tennis power balance is swinging away from the States.
August 21, 2014 -- Updated 1252 GMT (2052 HKT)
As a player he was as fiery as his hair -- and as Novak Djokovic's coach, Boris Becker says he has to battle to keep his emotions in check.
August 20, 2014 -- Updated 1102 GMT (1902 HKT)
Tennis great Boris Becker says he was stunned by the level of criticism he received after being appointed as Novak Djokovic's coach.
July 25, 2014 -- Updated 1101 GMT (1901 HKT)
"I didn't cry once when I practiced in front of the mirror," says Martin Emmrich. But the nerves kicked in when he got down on one knee on court.
June 30, 2014 -- Updated 1135 GMT (1935 HKT)
When Agnieszka Radwanska refused to look her opponent in the eye after losing at Wimbledon, it raised more than eyebrows.
June 23, 2014 -- Updated 0114 GMT (0914 HKT)
It's 10 years since a teenage Maria Sharapova became the darling of Wimbledon's hallowed Center Court, launching herself as a star.
May 23, 2014 -- Updated 0746 GMT (1546 HKT)
He's regularly voted France's favorite famous person, but many of the nation's youth have "no idea" about his glorious sporting past
April 29, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
Five-time grand slam champion Martina Hingis has followed her mom into a coaching role, setting up a new tennis academy in Barcelona, Spain.