i Editor's Letter: More blood on fields


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The Independent Online


There was blood on the hallowed courts at the Queen's Club, London, yesterday. Literally. If you haven't seen it, the former world No 3, David Nalbandian from Argentina, was disqualified from the Aegon Championships final against the Croatian Marin Cilic, after kicking a small advertising hoarding so hard that it crashed into the shin of an unsuspecting line judge sitting behind it, gashing his leg.

Given how often we see more blood on a football or rugby field, I'm sure the shock value of the brief event lay in the fact that blood was soon streaming down the leg of the elderly line judge as he stood there in shocked disbelief. It was a spectacular meltdown.

Of course, there was no justification for it at all. What was Nalbandian banging on about when he moaned: "Sometimes we feel so much pressure from the ATP playing so many tournaments"? Who sympathises with a relatively mediocre multi-millionaire when even the runner-up prize money for this Wimbledon warm-up tournament was £36,114 – money he will now forfeit.

And yet... violence aside, there is something enthralling about such a loss of control. That's why it is always such a car-crash spectacle. We're used to seeing drunks do it or toddlers, but it is mesmerising when a sober adult loses it, be it one in the public eye like Nalbandian, or a random stranger having a moment – like the pushchair– pushing woman who screamed blue murder and worse at me (and my daughters, who were passengers) when I had the temerity to obstruct a foot of her crossing space in the hellish weekend traffic.