LONDON: Facing police probe David Nalbandian was disqualified from the Aegon Championship final after injuring a line judge by kicking an advertising board onto his shin and could now be charged with assault after police confirmed the Argentine was being investigated.
Having taken the first set against Marin Cilic at the Queen's club, the traditional warm-up event to Wimbledon, Nalbandian took out his frustration on an advertising hoarding after losing serve in the seventh game of the second set. However, to the horror of the Argentine, the board fell onto line judge Andrew McDougall, causing his leg to bleed heavily.
Chair umpire Fergus Murphy awarded the match to Cilic, disqualifying Nalbandian for unsportsmanlike conduct, leading to the crowd booing the decision. Tournament supervisor Tom Barnes said: "It is unsportsmanlike conduct, and the supervisor has the authority to declare an immediate default.
"Once I saw that the line judge was injured, I didn't have any other option." Tournament official Chris Kermode added: "It is obviously not the way that we wanted to finish the final and I can understand the crowd's frustration, but the tournament is governed by ATP rules and this was a clear-cut case."
The incident cost Nalbandian his runners-up prize money of 36, 114 pounds ($56,758), and could yet face a further fine.
"I know that I made a mistake, 100%," Nalbandian said. "If I have to pay for what I did, it's perfect, I agree. I made a mistake and I apologise and I feel very sorry for the guy. I didn't want to do that.
Cilic, who picked up the seventh title of his career, was left bemused by the bizarre situation. "It was very bitter," Cilic told the BBC. "It's definitely not the way I wanted to win. To end like this is not easy.
Meanwhile, Scotland Yard said they were investigating a complaint of alleged assault. A spokesman with the Scotland Yard said: "We are aware of an incident at the AEGON Championships on June 17. "A complaint has been made and the Metropolitan Police Service is now investigating. "The allegation is of assault."