David Nalbandian paid a fine of $12560 and came under the police scanner after a petulant display of unsportsmanlike behavior during the Queen’s club final against Marin Cilic. The former world no. 3 Argentine player also had to bid goodbye to the $57,350 prize money that he won in the tournament, in keeping with the ATP rules that spell out automatic default as punishment for any form of violent behaviour.
In the final, Nalbandian was made to sweat his way to a 7-6 win in the first set. But when Cilic registered a break of serve to go 4-3 ahead in the second set, Nalbandian found it too much to bear. He decided to take out his frustration on the advertising board after losing the service game. Unfortunately for the Argentine, line judge Andrew McDougall was sitting close by on the other side of the board. The kick resulted in the board flying straight into McDougall’s left shin thereby causing to bleed severely. The line judge was given first-aid but did not require any other medical requirement.
Meanwhile, a statement by London police referred to an investigation of a complaint of assault filed against the Argentine player. The complainant’s identity was kept secret.
Nalbandian professed to be ashamed of the incident, in a statment made by him on Sunday night. He stated that he had never intended to hurt McDougall and that it was an unfortunate reaction in which he, Nalbandian, had simply sought to let off steam, after the loss of a point. He added that he had had the opportunity to personally apologize to McDougall for the act that he regretted and took full responsibility for.
Nalbandian has had previous run ins with tennis authorities for unruly behaviour. The most recent episode transpiered at the Australian Open earlier this year, where the Argentine had been fined $8,000 for the "unsportsmanlike conduct" of throwing water at a staff member during a five-setter that he lost to John Isner.
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Gokul is a software professional from Chennai, India. An avid sports fan, he is a keen follower of Cricket, Football, Hockey, Tennis and Formula One. He styles his articles as razor-edge analyses of all the hot and happening events in the field of sports.