LONDON: Croatian Marin Cilic won the Queen’s Club title 6-7 (3), 4-3 in dramatic circumstances on Sunday as a furious David Nalbandian was disqualified for kicking at a low advertising panel and cutting a linesman’s shin.
The outburst was one of the most memorable since Britain’s Tim Henman was disqualified at Wimbledon in the 1995 doubles, when he accidentally hit a ball girl after missing a shot. Nalbandian’s eruption came as he was passed by Cilic to lose serve in the seventh game of the second set. The Argentinian then lashed out with a kick at the low hoarding surrounding the chair of linesman Andrew McDougall.
The fierce blow sent a wooden board into the official’s shin, producing a cut. ATP supervisor Tom Barnes immediately disqualified Nalbandian as booing fans erupted at the west London club over the premature end of the match. The delicate situation was not made any better by Nalbandian’s subsequent tirade at the ATP for stopping the match. “I’m very sorry about this, but sometimes you get frustrated on the court,” said the 30-year-old. “It was a very tough moment to end a final like that.”
Nalbandian then accused the sanctioning body of selective enforcement of the rules, without specifically referring to the fact that he had to play two matches on Friday due to bad weather during the previous days.
HALLE: Tommy Haas ambushed five-times winner Roger Federer 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 on Sunday to win the Halle Open a second time in front of a German home crowd. Haas, 34, impressed with big returns and achieved the deciding break for 5-4 in the second set with a passing shot en route to victory in 1 hour 35 minutes. Federer failed to win his 75th career title as he lost his first final of the year from five 2012 deciders. Haas entered the tournament with a wildcard in his return into the top 100 from a long injury layoff.