David Nalbandian kicks linesman, gets disqualified
London: A rare incident was on display on the tennis court during the Queen’s club final. The match had to abandoned mid-way as David Nalbandian, the man with the reputation for being a hot-head, was shown the ‘red-card’ during the match against Marin Cilic.
Nalbandian after leading 7-6, 3-3 was leading till the seventh game. The short-temper of David Nalbandian came into action when he was broken in the seventh game of the match. He stormed the advertising board which disintegrated and created a nasty gash on linesman Andrew McDougall's left leg.
The impact of the board was so intense that it led blood trickling out of the shin of the linesman.
Post the incident, Nalbandian was given marching orders by the mach officials, "Once I saw the injury...I didn't have any other option," Barnes, who has been an ATP tournament supervisor for 22 years, told reporters.
Asked if he had ever seen an official injured so badly by the actions of a player, he added with a wry smile: "No, I can't say I have. I think the other times it's been less bloody."
Tournament director Chris Kermode compared the incident to red card being shown during a football match, he added: "Anyone who saw it...it was very clear. It was sort of a red card in football. You're off."
However, this is not the first instance when tennis player has come under suspension for bad-on-field-behaviour. He was disqualified for Vina del Mar Tournament for hurling a stream of verbal abuses at a linesman.
Coincidentally, Barnes was also the official in charge who defaulted Nalbandian in 2002.
A second problem started when a section of the crowd, who were seating behind the linesman could not see the ill tempered action being played on the field. The call-to call off the match- was met with booes and chants of the fans, who urged the palyers to get on with the match.
"David certainly did not mean for this to happen, however, the rules are very clear in a situation like this and causing injury to someone is an automatic default for any player," Brad Drewett, ATP executive chairman and president, said.
For Nalbandian, the penalties are starting to pile up as it was only five months ago that he was slapped with an $8000 fine for throwing water over an Australian Open official - an accusation he denied - following a controversial second-round defeat.
He now faces a fine of up to $10,000 despite already forfeiting his prize money (at least $56,800) and ranking points for the week.
"I know (what) I did (is) a mistake, 100 percent. I feel very sorry for the guy. I didn't want to do that. But sometimes you get angry and you cannot control those moments," said Nalbandian.
He also lashed out at the men's governing body during the presentation ceremony, suggesting the ATP does not look after player interests, which left observers wondering if Nalbandian could be slapped with an additional fine or even banned from the tour.
"I think you have to give the guy a chance to let off some steam there. I mean, he didn't intend to do what he did," Barnes added. "He intended to kick the box but he did not intend to hurt the guy.
"When he realised that he had, he felt bad. Then when he realised the consequences of that, he felt even worse."