Update (3:45 p.m.): David Nalbandian was fined the maximum $12,560 for kicking an advertising board into a line judge during the Queen’s Club final. Nalbandian is also under police investigation for assault for the incident. He was up one set to zero and down a break to Marin Cilic when he was disqualified from the final. Nalbandian forfeited $57,350 in prize money, making his net loss from the weekend $69,910.
David Nalbandian has seen his fair show of highs and lows in a tumultuous, injury-riddled tennis career.
But Nalbandian has only himself to blame for booting his latest comeback attempt over the weekend at the AEGON Championships at the Queen’s Club in London.
Up a set and down a break to Marin Cilic, the former World No. 3 kicked an on-court advertising board in frustration after dropping a service game. Unfortunately for Nalbandian, the sign bordered a linesman’s chair.
The kick sent the board straight into the line judge’s shins and left him bleeding through his khakis. After checking on the injured official, the chair umpire disqualified Nalbandian to end the match. (Watch video of the kick here.)
London police are investigating an assault charge filed against Nalbandian for the act.
“Sometimes you get very frustrated on court and it’s tough to control that, and sometimes I do a mistake. So it’s very tough to end a final like that,” the Argentine said. “But sometimes we feel so much pressure from the ATP to play a lot of tournaments. They don’t do anything (for) us, and today I do a mistake and I have to pay like that.
“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.”
According to ATP rules, any violent action will result in an automatic default. Nalbandian was also stripped of his $57,350 in prize money for the tournament.
“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,” ATP executive chairman and president Brad Drewett said in a statement.
In a statement issued Sunday night, Nalbandian said he was “ashamed and sorry for the kick that unintentionally hurt the line umpire.”
“I never intended to hurt him, it was an unfortunate reaction in which I wanted to let off steam after losing a point,” Nalbandian said in the statement. “I had the opportunity to personally apologize to the line umpire for this regrettable act that I am fully responsible for.”
Nalbandian, who was aiming for his first tour win since he won Legg Mason in Washington, D.C. in 2010, was fined $8,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct at the Australian Open earlier after he threw water at a staff member during a five-set loss to John Isner. Nalbandian denied the allegations.
Nalbandian, currently ranked 39th in the world, is still scheduled to play at Wimbledon, which begins next Monday.