Watch Video of Nalbandian outburst
David Nalbandian threw away a perfect opportunity to win his first ATP title in almost two years when he kicked an ad banner into the leg of a service linesman.
The incident happened at the Queen’s Club in London. Nalbandian was playing his first grass final since 2002. He was leading opponent Marin Celic by a set and only 3 games from victory.
Celic was handed his 7th career ATP title and his first on grass. Celic would have clearly preferred to complete the match. He told the BBC “It’s definitely not the way I wanted win. To end like this is not easy.”
Nalbandian was fined earlier this year in Australia for throwing water on a doping official.
The Argentinian was immediately disqualified as defined by ATP rule. He also received the maximum fine of $12,000.00. He will forfeit all ranking points and prize money he would have earned for reaching the final. Further fines and penalties are also possible.
The injured linesman was treated on site after the incident and then again by a physician with no additional treatment needed. The outburst was clearly not directed at the official but the chair umpire had no choice but to disqualify Nalbandian after the injury, based on ATP rules.
Nalbandian was quoted as saying: “I feel sorry and regret hurting the line judge. I never tried to hurt him but this regretful moment was entirely my fault”. His statement appears true after viewing the video of the incident.
Adding another layer to the incident, The Metropolitan Police confirmed on Monday that they were looking into an assault complaint made by a member of the public. They did not reveal that person’s identity, but Telegraph Sport understands the source is likely the injured judge McDougall.