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Nalbandian apologises for kicking line judge at Queen's

posted 17 Jun 2012, 12:07 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 17 Jun 2012, 12:08 ]

David Nalbandian apologises for injuring a line judge during the Queen's Club final which forced the ATP supervisor Tom Barnes to default the Argentine and award the victory to Marin Cilic.

LONDON, UK (JUNE 17, 2012) (WING VNR) - Argentina's David Nalbandian was defaulted from his Queen's Club final against Croatia's Marin Cilic on Sunday (June 17) for injuring a line judge by kicking an advertising board into his shin.

Nalbandian was leading 7-6 3-3 when he dropped serve in the seventh game and reacted by slamming his right foot into an advertising board which splintered and gashed official Andrew McDougall's left leg.

The shocked McDougall instantly winced and clutched his leg, which had blood seeping from the shin, and after some on-court attention he was eventually escorted off the ground to the club's medical centre.

After prolonged discussions between the umpire and other tournament officials, Nalbandian was defaulted which left the packed Centre Court crowd whistling and jeering.

ATP rules state instant disqualification in such instances but the Argentine, a Wimbledon finalist in 2002, felt he had been harshly punished but agreed he had made a mistake.

"I do a mistake and then I apologise and I feel very sorry to the guy (McDougall)," Nalbandian said. "I didn't want to do that but sometimes you get angry, sometimes you cannot control that moment. Many times it happens, well to me; maybe you throw a racquet or maybe you scream or maybe you do something like that so many times happens that kind of moment but if you have to play like that."

Cilic said: "(I feel) really bitter you know to finish the tournament like this. And actually I didn't really see what happened on the court there until the supervisor announced it was going to be a default.

"I thought it was just an accident there but it seemed different by the explanation from the supervisor and you know it was not easy to go in front of the crowd, in front of the people to get the trophy like that. But you know I had really good week and played some good tennis and going to be really happy once this is over and going to feel that I'm in good form especially for coming like this into Wimbledon."

The tournament director, Chris Kermode, said the ATP supervisor, Tom Barnes had no choice.

"As a tournament we're not in charge of the rules; the ATP Tour govern the tour and we have to stick by them," Kermode said. "It's very clear; Tom Barnes had to make a very difficult decision. He did it very well very quickly.

"Clearly the 7,500 people here today wanted the match to continue, they paid money so I totally understand their frustration but equally he can't have done anything else. It's like a red card in a football game; the guy's off."

In January Nalbandian was fined $8,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct after a controversial five-set loss to America's John Isner in the second round of the Australian Open.

The Argentine was not allowed to review a decision as the umpire had deemed Nalbandian had not asked for one in a timely manner.

After he lost the match Nalbandian threw his racquet to the side which bounded towards a group of photographers.