Bloomberg News

Nalbandian Disqualified After Injuring Official; Federer Loses

June 17, 2012

David Nalbandian was disqualified from the Aegon Championships tennis final today after he kicked an advertising board into a line judge’s leg, injuring the official. Tommy Haas upset Roger Federer to win the Gerry Weber Open for a second time.

Argentina’s Nalbandian was leading 7-6 (7-3), 3-4 against Marin Cilic at Queen’s Club in London when he was defaulted for unsportsmanlike conduct after reacting angrily to a break of serve. The line judge suffered a bloody gash to his shin where he was hit by the board.

“I’m very sorry, sometimes you get very frustrated here on court,” the 30-year-old Nalbandian said in a televised interview after the match. “I agree I did a mistake, but I don’t feel it had to end like that, especially in a final.”

Tournament Director Chris Kermode told the British Broadcasting Corp. that Nalbandian was “struggling to come to terms with it” but was sorry for what he’d done.

The crowd called for the contest to continue and greeted the start of the post-match presentation with loud jeers. Cilic, though, was cheered as he was awarded the trophy and Nalbandian also received a warm reception.

Croatia’s Cilic, 23, now has seven ATP titles, with this his first on grass. World No. 39 Nalbandian, runner-up at Wimbledon in 2002, is without a title since August 2010.

“It’s definitely not the way I wanted to win,” Cilic, ranked No. 25 by the ATP, said.

At another warm-up event for Wimbledon, which starts June 25, Germany’s Haas upset Federer of Switzerland at the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany.

Losing Run

The 34-year-old, who entered the grass-court tournament as a wildcard, beat the third-ranked Federer 7-6 (7-5), 6-4 to collect his first ATP title since winning this event in 2009.

Haas, ranked No. 87, last beat the 30-year-old Federer in 2002 and ends a run of 10 straight defeats against him, including the semifinals in Halle in 2005 and 2006. Federer is a five-time champion at Halle.

Haas lost his serve in the first game before recovering to take the opening set in a tiebreak. In the second set, he broke to take a 5-4 lead, then held serve to claim the title.

The German has also has a wildcard for Wimbledon.

In the Nurnberger Gastein WTA final, France’s Alize Cornet defeated Belgium’s Yanina Wickmayer 7-5, 7-6 (7-1).

To contact the reporter on this story: James Cone in London at jcone@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.


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