The genteel Queens Club tournament was marred by an ugly incident in Sunday's final when David Nalbandian kicked an advertising sign and inadvertently bloodied a linesman sitting above it.
The Argentinian was immediately defaulted from the match, giving Marin Cilic the victory in the grass-court tournament. Nalbandian won the first set 7-6 and was trailing 3-4 in the second when he kicked the sign in frustration.
The linesman later rolled up his pants and blood was seen dripping down his leg.
"I am very sorry, sometimes you get frustrated on court," said Nalbandian after the match. "Sometimes I make a mistake I agree with. It's a tough moment to end a final like that but sometimes we feel so much pressure from the ATP playing so many tournaments."
Some people are crediting Nalbandian for his apology, saying he seemed contrite toward the linesman, if not about his actions. Nonsense. By blaming the ATP for pressure and hiding behind the "it was an accident" defense, Nalabandian makes this an even bigger farce. An accident would have been if a piece of that Perrier sign Novak Djokovic hit had gone flying into the crowd and cut a fan. Nalbandian intentionally broke a sign that was sitting directly in front of a linesman. His recklessness caused the accident.
Nalbandian should expect a suspension from the ATP, one which could extend into next week's Wimbledon. Then again, the ATP is notoriously toothless when it comes to giving penalties. Maybe the sight of a little blood will scare them straight.