Originally Posted by BauerAlmeida
Davis Cup is the most important tournament for Nalbandian and if you see him play there it's scary to imagine what he could've accomplished. He completely demolished Hewitt in Australia in grass. Hewitt was in his prime and he distroyed him. Next year he did the same thing in Russia against Safin, he was already declining (Marat), but it was a walk in the park for Nalbandian. He defeated Davydenko very easily in that final (Kolya was TOP 5 back then, at his peak). Unfortunately for him he didn't have great partners (outside clay) and very often he would win his singles matches but Argentina would lose the doubles and the other two singles. And now that Delpo is around he is declining. But Nalbandian when he was fit and motivated could be scary good, like the MC in 2005 (6-2 6-2 against Ljubicic, bageling Davydenko, coming back from 2 sets against Roger) or the indoor season in 2007 (defeating Roger, Djoker and Nadal in the same tournament).
But he had no dedication AT ALL, to be an elite player. He would often be found partying at 4 AM or skying in Argentina or racing with his team in Cordoba and doing all sort of stuff like Bungee Jumping, etc. Not to mention his nutrition was worse than Agassi's in his early days.
He still managed to be N3 and won some important tournamentes defeating a lot of the top players.
Yes he beat Hewitt when he was about to get married or shortly after if I remember straight. As you said he also beat a declining Safin who had been wrecked by injuries.
To say he cared most about the Davis Cup is probably true, but he cared an awful lot about slams too and that's why he choked in a few.
He lost to Hewitt at the Wimbledon final and he lost to Hewitt at the Australian Open.
He manged to beat Safin once at the French and lost every other time, before Marat's injury.
He never beat Coria on clay and lost to Gaudio the one time they played.
Nalbandian was a fantastic ball striker, who matched up well with Federer, but where are his slams going to come from if he was dedicated? No French Opens, No Wimbledons. He was the third best player indoors of his generation and perhaps the second best all round on every surface. However, he was never the best at a slam surface and so was never going to have the career some like to imagine even if there was no Federer.