“Everyone knows Nalbandian was a really great player — he won so may good tournaments,” World No 1 seven del Potro told reporters in Tokyo, after reaching the quarter-finals of the Japan Open. “We have lost a really talented played from the tour.”
Nalbandian, perhaps best known for a stirring five-set comeback victory against Roger Federer in the 2005 Tennis Masters Cup final, hung up his racquet due to a right shoulder problem.
The 31-year-old, winner of 11 ATP Tour titles, had slipped to 231st in the world rankings after another injury-hit season.
Nalbandian called retirement decision ‘difficult’. “It’s a sad day but my shoulder simply can’t cope any more at the highest level,” he said.