"It's not easy what's happening to me now, my shoulder is not helping me to train as I should for the circuit," he said.
Grand Slam best:
Australian Open semi-final (2006); French Open semi-final (2004, 2006); Wimbledon final (2002); US Open semi-final (2003)
Nalbandian, from Cordoba, has slipped to 231 in the rankings after numerous injuries, the latest of which saw him undergo shoulder surgery in May and led him to announce his retirement in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.
He has played just 11 matches in 2013, although made it to the final of the Brazil Open in March, losing to Rafael Nadal.
Nalbandian is five months younger than Roger Federer and enjoyed some of his best moments against the 17-time Grand Slam champion, beating him in the US Open junior final before winning their first five matches as professionals.
He played a leading role in Argentina's recent attempts to win the Davis Cup for the first time but fell short in three finals, against Spain in 2011 and 2008, and Russia in 2006.
"It's the event that I felt was different from the others," said Nalbandian. "The pressure, the support of the people. It's something unique. It's a shame [Argentina] couldn't win it, but it's the way it was."
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