Game, set and ouch! Top tennis player leaves official bloodied after kicking board at him
ARGENTINIAN tennis star David Nalbandian was dramatically disqualified in the Queen's Club final yesterday after kicking out and injuring a line judge.
Mr Nalbandian, right, was leading 7-6 3-3 when he dropped serve in the seventh game and reacted by slamming his right foot into an advertising board which splintered and gashed official Andrew McDougall's left leg.
The shocked Mr McDougall instantly winced and clutched his leg, which had blood seeping from the shin, and after some on-court attention he was eventually escorted to the club's medical centre.
After discussions between the umpire and tournament officials, Mr Nalbandian was disqualified and the match was awarded to his Croatian opponent, Marin Cilic.
ATP rules state instant disqualification in such instances but the Argentine, a Wimbledon finalist in 2002, felt he had been harshly punished.
"I'm very sorry to do that," he told the crowd.
"Sometimes you get frustrated on court and it's tough to control... it is a mistake."
Tournament director Chris Kermode said rules had to be obeyed.
"Rules are rules. The ATP forced us to end the final. David is struggling to come to terms with it. He is very sorry for what he has done," he said.