ITFWorld Autumn 2013

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 16 of 35

A crop of high-profile players have announced their retirements in recent months, leaving behind significant marks on the tennis landscape. David Nalbandian scored both of Argentina's points in his country's narrow 3-2 defeat to Russia in the 2006 Davis Cup Final Nicolas Massu draped in the Chilean flag after winning Olympic singles gold in Athens Saying goodbye S ome retirements are expected, but some aren't. Marion Bartoli surprised everyone when, just a month after winning her first Grand Slam singles title at Wimbledon, she announced her retirement after a second round loss at Cincinnati. Aged 29, the Frenchwoman blamed injuries for her sudden decision to quit the game. Bartoli's Wimbledon triumph came six years after she lost her first final at the All England Club to Venus Williams. She won seven other singles titles, and only this year had rejoined the French Fed Cup by BNP Paribas team after a nine-year absence. For Argentina's fervent Davis Cup fans, the news that David Nalbandian had decided to call it a day was devastating if not so unexpected, the 31-year-old having been struggling with a persistent shoulder injury. A passionate lynchpin of his national team for 11 years, Nalbandian was the second most successful Argentine Davis Cup player ever, his win-loss record of 3911 trailing only Guillermo Vilas (57-24). He helped Argentina to reach three Davis Cup finals - in 2006, 2008 and 2011 - and said in his retirement press conference that his biggest regret was not winning the trophy. Nalbandian was runner-up at 2002 Wimbledon and reached the last four at all four majors. He spent five successive years in the Top 10, peaking at No. 3 in the world. Former world No. 4 James Blake retired in front of home fans at the US Open citing injuries and a desire to spend more time with his young daughter. The popular American said that his eight-year Davis Cup career had given him some of his best memories, and called his part in USA's Davis Cup victory in 2007 the "proudest moment" of his career. He has not ruled out the prospect of becoming Davis Cup captain one day. Blake, 33, was twice a quarterfinalist at Flushing Meadows and once at the Australian Open. Double Olympic gold medallist Nicolas Massu also took his bow at the age of 33 and shortly after was named Chile's new Davis Cup captain. The Chilean, who reached a career-high ranking of No. 9, shot to fame at the 2004 Athens Olympics, where he won gold in singles and doubles alongside compatriot Fernando Gonzalez. They remain Chile's only Olympic golds in any sport. Massu played Davis Cup for Chile for 15 years, compiling a 22-12 singles record. Former Wimbledon semifinalist Xavier Malisse bid farewell after a challenger event at home in Belgium. The former world No. 19 contested 15 Davis Cup ties for his country, helping Belgium to reach the World Group semifinals in 1999. ITFWORLD AUTUMN 2013 15

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

view archives of ITF - ITFWorld Autumn 2013