David Nalbandian, the 2002 Wimbledon finalist who caused an uproar a decade later by injuring a line judge at another tournament, retired from professional tennis Tuesday because of a shoulder injury.
The 31-year-old Argentine player described it as a ”difficult day,” but told a news conference that he was ”super grateful” to his sport.
Saying his shoulder did not ”respond well” to treatment, Nalbandian concluded: ”I cannot compete.”
Nalbandian spent 13 years on the ATP tour, reaching No. 3 in the rankings in 2006 and spending five consecutive years in the top 10. He reached at least the semifinals at all four Grand Slam tournaments, losing to Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the 2002 final at Wimbledon.
Before Wimbledon in 2012, Nalbandian was disqualified and fined after a line judge was hurt when the player kicked an advertising board during the final at the Queen’s Club grass-court tuneup tournament. A piece of the barrier hit the judge’s left shin, drawing blood. Nalbandian lost nearly $70,000.
Nalbandian also forfeited ranking points and wasn’t seeded at Wimbledon that month, meaning he lost a chance to face an easier opponent in the first round. He lost his opening match in straight sets.
This year, he played only 11 matches, including a run to the final at a clay-court tournament in Brazil. His current ranking is No. 231. He won 11 singles titles, most recently in 2010 at Washington.
Nalbandian said his greatest regret was not being able to help Argentina win the Davis Cup. He was a member of runner-up teams in 2006, 2008 and 2011.
He will play an exhibition match against 13-time major champion Rafael Nadal on Nov. 23 in Buenos Aires.