British police are investigating a complaint of assault against Argentine tennis player David Nalbandian after he injured a linesman in a petulant outburst during the final of the Queen’s Club tournament in London at the weekend.
Nalbandian was leading Sunday’s match 7-6, 3-3 when he dropped serve in the seventh game and reacted by kicking at a wooden advertising board which disintegrated on impact and slammed into official Andrew McDougall's left leg.
A shocked McDougall cried out and instantly clutched his shin. When he rolled up his trouser leg, blood could be seen seeping from the wound.
He received some on-court attention before being escorted off the ground to the club's medical centre.
After prolonged discussions between officials, umpire Fergus Murphy disqualified Nalbandian for “unsportsmanlike behaviour” and awarded the match to his Croatian opponent Marin Cilic.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said on Monday: “An allegation of assault has been made to us relating to an incident at the... tennis tournament and we are now investigating.”
Nalbandian issued a second apology as the fiery Argentine faced a possible lengthy ban.
The Argentine was stripped of his runners-up cheque, worth 44,945 euros ($56,802), and 150 ATP ranking points, which he would have earned as a beaten finalist. He could also be hit with a 10,000 euro ($12,638) fine, which will be decided by ATP chiefs at a later date.
But he could also face an eight-week ban having also been fined $8,000 for throwing water at an Australian Open tournament worker in January.