The game of tennis is generally not known for violence. It’s obviously not a boxing match where tempers will flare to a degree that opponents start beating each other up. However, every once in a while, there is an incident which acts as a blot on the generally decent game. One such incident happened with David Nalbandian at a tournament in 2012.
He was playing in the finals of the Queens Club Championships against Marin Cilic. The Argentine was in a good position as he led 7-6, 3-4 in the match. However, one error made by him led to an instant disqualification which is a rarity in tennis.
The player got so frustrated at losing a point that he kicked the adjacent advertising board in frustration. He hit so hard that the line judge sitting right next to the board got badly hurt. In fact, he cried out loud in pain as a pool of blood filled the court.
It was obvious by Nalbandian’s reaction that his sudden surge of anger had evaporated into tension and he was worried about the extent of hurt that he had cost. Nalbandian was immediately disqualified from the match and the victory as well as the tournament awarded to Marin Cilic.
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David Nalbandian was obviously upset about losing in such a way. He was also sorry for his actions.
“I am very sorry, sometimes you get frustrated on court,” said Nalbandian.
“Sometimes I make a mistake I agree with,” he added. “It’s a tough moment to end a final like that but sometimes we feel so much pressure from the ATP playing so many tournaments.
“Today I’ve made a mistake. Sometimes I agree and I do but everyone makes mistakes. I don’t feel it had to end like that – especially in a final.”
“There are a lot of rules and sometimes they don’t do anything. The rule book is very big and I can tell you the ATP do a lot to the players and nothing happens.”
Whatever be the case, David Nalbandian displayed unsportsmanlike conduct and deserved the punishment. You can obviously get angry but it can’t translate into violence. We can only hope that these incidents never occur again on the tennis court which is known for integrity.