By Lisa-Marie Burrows
AEGON Championships, Queen’s Club, London - Wimbledon finalist David Nalbandian was forced to default the match and as a result the championship title to Marin Cilic after he kicked the wooden advertising board around a linesman’s feet after failing to reach a serve out wide. Unfortunately for Nalbandian and the linesman the wood splintered, broke and cut the linesman’s leg! There was a significant amount of blood and the man fell to the floor in pain before shorly limping off the court.
The crowd were hoping that the decision would be reversed but to no avail as the default decision stood and Marin Cilic was crowned champion. Not a nice way for the Croat to win the title and no doubt it will be a victory that he will never forget!
Here you can see a video from the aftermath of the moment of anger:
Chris Kermode the Tournament Director discussed with Sue Barker about the consequences of the behaviour:
“It’s 1 of those unfortunate things in the middle of an unbelievable final. It’s cut the linesman’s leg & he’s actually quite seriously injured. Rules are rules.”
He continued to discuss how Nalbandian handled the news about the disqualification:
“The ATP have enforced us to end the final with a code violation. David’s struggling to come to terms with it, winning here means so much. He clearly regrets what he’s done. To have the match ending this way is incredibly disappointing.We’re under the governance of ATP rules.”
During the presentation, a visibly upset Nalbandian had the opportunity to share his thoughts about the moment of explosion as he kicked the advertising board and the crowd were half expecting David Nalbandian to come out and deliver a heartfelt apology but he was full of hostility with the disqualification and brought in the ATP governing body for their rules and mistakes that they have made. He said:
“”I’m very sorry to do that, sometimes you get very frustrated here on court & it’s tough to control that. To end like that, especially in a final, I am sorry. There are a lot of rules and sometimes they don’t so anything. I can tell you the ATP do a lot of mistakes.”
Here you can see the on court interview with Sue Barker: