David Nalbandian disqualified after kicking line judge
Tennis players have been known to abuse line judges verbally, but Argentine star David Nalbandian inadvertently went too far during yesterday Queen’s Club final in London. After missing a shot that cost him a game in the second set against Marin Cilic, he thoughtlessly kicked a Nike advertising board that surrounded line judge Andrew McDougall. The flimsy board was drilled into McDougall’s shin, leaving a bloody gash. Watch the replay (and listen to the clueless BBC announcers, who totally missed what happened initially and then seemed overly sympathetic — for Nalbandian!)
Nalbandian was disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct, a decision that rankled the player, who was seeded 10th in the Wimbledon tune-up tournament. “I agree I do a mistake but sometimes everybody do a mistake and I didn’t feel it had to end like that, especially in a final,” he said. Later, Nalbandian issued a statement, saying he felt “ashamed and sorry for the kick that unintentionally hurt the line umpire.”
“I never intended to hit him, it was an unfortunate reaction in which I wanted to let off steam after losing a point,” he said. “I had the opportunity to personally apologize to the line umpire for this regrettable act that I am fully responsible for.”
According to the Associated Press, an assault complaint was filed against Nalbandian with London police, though it was unclear by whom.