The venue was the Queen's Club in London. The match was the grass court championship final between Argentineand Croatian Marin Cilic. The match should have been a good one and it was...until midway through the second set. Nalbandian had won the first set 7-6 in a tiebreaker but had just failed to hold serve and had fallen behind in the second set 3-4. Clearly frustrated he then approached line judge Andrew McDougal and vented his frustration by kicking a sign (see video). The sign hit the judge in the leg and cut his knee, drawing blood.
The match was halted and the win was awarded to Cilic by default. Tournament director Chris Kermode explained..."he kicked the panel underneath the line judge. Rules are rules. The ATP have forced us to end the final with a code violation. For his part Nalbandian said..."sometimes you get very frustrated on court and it's tough to control that and sometimes I do a mistake. So it's very tough to end a final like that."
Without question the disqualification was deserved. A suspension may also be, and probably should be, handed down. There is no room in any sport for referees and/or judges to have to be worried for there physical safety during a match. However, a Scotland Yard investigation? I'm of the opinion that this should be handled by the tennis authorities and that this incident was not an assault. If it is classed as such thenand Ilie Nastase would still be paying for their actions back in the 1970's. I'm not 100% positive but I am guessing that Scotland Yard has some more important crimes to look into. I'm certainly not validating Nalbandian's actions on the court and I do think some sort of suspension should be handed down. I just don't see this as a criminal case.
Update: A Scotland Yard spokesperson has said..."A complaint has been made and the Metropolitan Police Service is now investigating. The allegation is of assault." With a complaint having been made, they have no choice but to investigate. I still do not believe that this should be classed as an intentional assault and that any punishment should be handed out by the ATP.
I'd love to hear any comments or opinions that you may have.