Police investigate David Nalbandian for 'assault' after line judge is injured


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The Independent Online

Police are investigating a complaint of alleged assault against David Nalbandian after a line judge was injured when the tennis player kicked an advertising hoarding.

Scotland Yard said a complaint had been made following an incident in the AEGON Championships final yesterday.

A spokesman 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."

Line judge Andrew McDougall was left with a bloodied shin following the incident during yesterday's final at the Queen's Club in west London.

Nalbandian won the first set of the final but lost his temper in the second set after being broken by Croatian opponent Marin Cilic.

After missing a lunging forehand, Nalbandian kicked an advertising hoarding in front of the chair of line judge Mr McDougall.

The hoarding flew off its hinges and struck Mr McDougall in the shin, causing an inch-long gash from which blood started to seep.

Nalbandian was disqualified after being deemed guilty of unsportsmanlike conduct and suffered further pain when he had his £36,500 prize money withdrawn and heard he could be hit with a £6,400 fine.

Despite the incident, Nalbandian said afterwards that he hoped to return to the Wimbledon warm-up event next year.

"This incident doesn't mean that I'm not going to come back," said the Argentinian.

"It doesn't matter. I really feel good at this tournament.

"The tournament director is great to me and I like it.

"This is a bad situation for everybody and I really apologise for that but it doesn't mean anything to next year."

The 6,000-strong crowd sided with Nalbandian immediately after the incident. Many were unaware that the kick had caused such damage to the left leg of Mr McDougall, who needed treatment for the injury.

Tournament director Chris Kermode stopped short of saying Nalbandian, the 10th seed, would definitely be allowed back, but conceded that banning the player would be highly unlikely.

"Look, mistakes happen," he said. "I haven't really thought about next year, but you can ask me again in a couple of weeks.

"There was no way he intended to do that. It would be foolish to say he's not welcome back to this tournament.

"The tennis he's played this week has been phenomenal and the crowd like him.

"You could tell by the crowd that they wanted him to play, so you have to forgive these things and move on."