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Daniel Nestor: An Iconic doubles player thinking of ending his reign

Daniel Nestor: An Iconic doubles player thinking of ending his reign

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by GALE MOORMAN

Daniel Nestor has 91 career doubles titles on his racket and he's not about to quit playing this game he's loved since a child; well not yet anyway. He turned pro in 1994 and scored his first doubles title back then at the Bogota, Colombia tournament partnering with Mark Knowles when they dismantled the French Open Champions back then Luke and Murphy Jensen in the final.

Nestor is the oldest player on the professional tennis circuit at 45 and still plays and strives for perfection on the court. He's the first to have 1000 doubles match victories to his career and unfortunately most of the time his matches aren't seen on television because he's basically a doubles specialist.

But it wasn't always that way for Nestor who did play singles back in 1992 and defeated another icon Stefan Edberg back then ranked no. 1, but the singles game was too competitive and stringent for his body which started being prone to injuries, so he stayed away from singles and concentrated on doubles, a nice compromise for him and his love and mastery of strategies.

As the game slowly began to change with more focus on power, he felt Knowles didn't have the strength and muscle needed to draw continued success so he called it 'a miss' in 2007 and picked up the Serbian Nenad Zimonjic.

It was an instant victory as they won the 2007 St. Petersburg Open and the Hamburg Masters in Germany. The following year it was the 2008 Wimbledon doubles and the 2008 Tennis Masters Cup in Shanghai, China. Nestor has even hit the career grand/golden slam winning all 4 grand slams and a gold medal at the Olympics the same year.

He partnered with Sebastien Lareau in the 2000 Olympic Games to win a gold medal for tennis doubles. The 2017 US Open just closed and Nestor paired with Great Britain's Dominic Inglot to serve out the goods, but they only reached the first round being beat out by the team of Elgin/Medvedev before bailing out.

Nestor is now going into his 51st career playing the Davis Cup and really it seems like -- what hasn't Daniel Nestor won in tennis? He's left hardly any title unturned and attributes many of his victories to knowing when to change partners to get the best results from the doubles game.

But it can become an obstacle when a partner isn't giving what's needed for success of the game and at that time there's not many available players to select. After a player lands in the late 30s everyone has an raised eyebrow as to retiring is concerned, but at 45 Nestor knows that his playing years may be numbered.

As for his personal life he is married and has two children and he especially feels now that "...I want to be playing with someone I feel I can win with..." This year though he has dropped to no. 43 and is starting to see the finish line to ranking and partner changes.

He realistically says about retiring that "It has been in the back of my mind for sure. I mean obviously I wanted to play as long as I could and I've been fortunate to play as long as I have. But this last year has been pretty revealing as far as capabilities and ongoing success on tour".

Nestor has said that probably after the next Rogers Cup will be his last. Pairing with Nestor though has been good with one partner saying "You never felt pressure playing with Daniel. He never put any pressure on you so you always felt comfortable to go out and do your thing".

Whenever Nestor feels the time is right to pack his rackets and go, he'll always be looked at as the iconic player he is that did it all with consistency and comfort. .

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