David Nalbandian lost his match to Marin Clinic at the AEGON Championships at the Queen’s Club in London this weekend. But it wasn’t due to a lack of talent. Nalbandian kicked an advertising sign during the match, injuring an official, and was disqualified from the match.
Nalbandian lost the match, was fined 10,000 Euros (about $12,000 USD), forfeited his prize money, and may soon face assault charges.
The Guardian reports that Scotland Yard is currently looking into the act and may charge the tennis player with assault.
A spokesperson for the Scotland Yard said:
“We are aware of an incident at the Aegon Championships on 17 June. A complaint has been made and the Metropolitan police service is now investigating. The allegation is of assault.”
According to the Washington Post, ATP rules state that any violent action will result in an automatic disqualification. Nalbandian also left the tournament without the $57,350 he earned in prize money.
ATP executive chairman and president Brad Drewett said that the rules are very clear on how to handle violent acts, but said that he did not believe Nalbandian meant to hurt the official.
“David certainly did not mean for this to happen, however the rules are very clear in a situation like this and causing injury to someone is an automatic default for any player.”
Chris Kermode, the tournament director, said that he wasn’t sure if Nalbandian would be allowed to play in the tournament next year. Kermode agreed that Nalbandian did not mean to hurt the official but said that it was too early to talk about next year.
“Look, mistakes happen. 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.”
You can see a video of the incident here. Do you think David Nalbandian should face assault charges for his actions?