David Nalbandian Biography

Sure, everyone knows exactly who Roger Federer is – heck, even the world’s number two ranked player, Rafael Nadal, has become a household name in the tennis world.

However, the world’s third ranked player, Argentina’s David Nalbandian, is quickly – and definitively – making a name for himself – even if it is a little unusual.

As a junior player, Nalbandian won the 1998 Junior U.S. Open singles against Federer and the 1999 Junior Wimbledon doubles titles.

Nalbandian turned pro in 2000 and in 2001, he finished in the ATP top 50 for the first time. He finished 2002 as no. 1 Argentine and South American for the first time in his career, winning 2 ATP titles and reaching the Wimbledon final, where he set a record and stunned the tennis world by becoming the first man to reach the final on his senior debut. Furthermore, his run to the 2002 Wimbledon final is even more remarkable, considering that it was his first ever pro tournament on grass. Since then he has continued to climb his way up the ranks of professional tennis, and has finished each of the last two years ranked inside the year-end top ten.

In 2003 Nalbandian reached the semifinals of the U.S. Open where he lost to Andy Roddick, after holding a match point in the third set.

In 2004, Nalbandian reached the French Open semifinals losing to eventual champion Gast�³n Gaudio.

In 2005, Nalbandian won the Tennis Masters Cup, becoming only the second Argentine tennis player in history (after Guillermo Vilas in 1974) to win the end of year tournament.

Having replaced American Andy Roddick, Nalbandian won two of his three group matches (l. to Roger Federer, d. Ivan Ljubicic and Guillermo Coria). In the semifinals he defeated Russian Nikolay Davydenko and in the final, he beat Federer.

In January of 2006, Nalbandian defeated Fabrice Santoro of France in the quarterfinals of the Australian Open, becoming only the third active player (along with Andre Agassi and Roger Federer) to have reached the semifinals of each Grand Slam tournament.

He would lose in the semifinals to Marcos Baghdatis in a hard fought five set match, despite holding a two-set-to-love advantage and then 4 games to 2 in the final set.

In May, Nalbandian won the Estoril Open Tournament in Portugal for the second time, being one of three only men to achieve this accomplishment (Carlos Costa – 1992 and 1994, and Thomas Muster – 1995 and 1996). One month later, Nalbandian reached his second French Open semifinal.

It was the first time in his career that he reached two Grand Slam semifinals in one calendar year. He played Roger Federer and started very well, taking the first set 6-3 and going up 3-0 in the second set. At 5-2 down in the third set, Nalbandian decided to retire from the match, since he was suffering from abdominal injuries.

At this year’s Wimbledon, Nalbandian was beaten in the third round – it was the first time he didn’t reach the last 32.
Now, unlike many of his American brethren, Nalbandian is clearly getting better with each passing tournament – and it is only a metter of ‘if’ not ‘when’ he will win his first career Grand Slam title.

The thing I like about Nalbandian is that he seems to be equally good on every surface. From the slow clay of Roland Garros to the quick composition surfaces here in the U.S., Nalbandian has built his game to withstand the rigors of any playing on any surface.

Now as the once popular Nike ad used to say, all Nalbandian has to do now is ‘Just do it.’

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