David Nalbandian loses in first-round at Wimbledon


Ellen Branagh
Monday 25 June 2012 18:29

David Nalbandian's disqualification drama for kicking an advertising hoarding into a line judge was “bad luck”, the tennis player said as he crashed out of the first round of Wimbledon today.

The Argentinian was disqualified from the final of the AEGON Championships at Queen's earlier this month, injuring official Andrew McDougall.

He was fined a maximum penalty of 10,000 euro (£8,000) and also forfeited £36,500 prize money and ranking points. A complaint was also made to Scotland Yard, who have interviewed the player.

Nalbandian kept his temper today as he slipped out of Wimbledon today after a 6-4 7-6 (7/4) 6-2 defeat against eighth seed Janko Tipsarevic.

The 30-year-old kept his cool, groaning out of frustration on several occasions before accepting defeat, embracing his opponent before shaking hands with the umpire.

After today's match Nalbandian - who received sympathy from the 6,000 crowd after the Queen's incident - was asked if he had had any negative comments.

He replied "No. Bad luck. Can happen to everybody.

"I think everybody understood it wasn't a good thing that I did, but was very unlucky, as well."

He said he had spoken to the police and when asked if he told officers it was a case of bad luck, he replied: "Everybody saw it."

Mr McDougall was left with a bloodied shin following the outburst, which happened when Nalbandian 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 the line judge.

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

Afterwards, tournament director Chris Kermode seemed to support Nalbandian's claims that it was a case of bad luck.

He said: "Look, mistakes happen. There was no way he intended to do that.

"It would be foolish to say he's not welcome back to this tournament."

Nalbandian today denied the incident had a direct impact on his Wimbledon fortunes, when it was suggested that the drama had led to him not being seeded.

He said: "Yeah, but I've been playing for six months. If I'm not seeded, it's not only for one week."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "We were made aware of an incident at the Aegon Championships on Sunday June 17.

"A complaint was made and the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) are now investigating.

"On Tuesday June 19, a 30-year-old man attended a west London police station by appointment in connection with an allegation of assault. He was interviewed under caution.

"Inquiries continue and there have been no arrests."


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