Here’s a personal note to Mr. David Nalbandian, who announced this week that he’s retiring from the game: Nobody likes a quitter.
So what if you’re 31 years old and ranked 231? Who cares if you have a bum shoulder? So what if you haven’t reached a major final in a decade?
And now you’re saying that your shoulder injury “is not responding well to therapy”… That it’s a “difficult day”… and you’re “super grateful” to the sport of tennis.
So you throw in the towel and say, “I cannot compete…”
Well, I say, “Hogwash!”
Here’s what you have done, my man:
- You’ve spent 13 years on the ATP tour, reaching No. 3 in the rankings in 2006, and spending five consecutive years in the top 10.
- You’ve reached at least the semifinals at all four Grand Slam tournaments, losing to Lleyton Hewitt of Australia in the 2002 final at Wimbledon.
- You lead Davis Cup teams to the final in 2006, 2008 and 2011.
- You’ve won 11 titles and earned over $11 million in prize money.
Sure, there was that ugly little spat in 2012 at Queen’s Club when you kicked the crap out of a linesman’s chair and inadvertently sliced open the judge’s left shin.
You remember? You lost nearly $70,000 on that little outburst.
And, well, you also forfeited ranking points and weren’t seeded at Wimbledon that month, and lost your opening match in straight sets.
That sucked. But, c’mon, look on the bright side here:
You played 11 matches this year, including a run to the final at an unknown clay tournament in Brazil. You won a singles title in 2010 at Washington. That’s worth something, right?
And don’t forget you have that exhibition event in Buenos Aires against Nadal in late November. That will be fun, right?
Where’s that fighting spirit we all once admired so much? Who’s going to kick the crap out of cardboard advertisements now that you’re gone? Who’s going to give that no-good Nadal a run for his money on clay?
Farewell, Mr. D. You will be missed on the tour.
In tribute, here’s a second look at that 2012 Queen’s Club fiasco that cost you a good chunk of change… Maybe soccer is your second career…?