On Sunday, June 17, 2012, David Nalbandian and Marlin Cilic were playing in the final match of the Queen's Club tennis tournament. Though Nalbandian won the first set, he was struggling in the second set. He took his frustrations out by kicking a board. Unfortunately, the board fell and hit line judge Andrew McDougall and caused a nasty gash on the leg. Nalbandian was immediately disqualified. He was also fined more than $12,500 and forced to give up his winnings. Now, the Argentinian tennis player may be facing criminal charges. A compliant has led to a police investigation of the incident as an assault. This is not the first time a tennis player has had an altercation with a line judge or other tournament worker. Here is a look at five other incidents that made the headlines.
In 2009, Serena Williams was given a penalty at the U.S. Open. During a semi-final game, the American tennis player smashed her racket and later made threatening comments to the line judge. After reporting the comments to a referee, the player was penalized one point. Unfortunately for Williams, that point meant that she lost the game and was eliminated from the tournament. Her opponent, Kim Clijsters, went on to win the tournament.
In March of 2012, Tamara Curovic, who is from Serbia, was playing in a tournament being held at the Cricket Club of India. She had made it to the quarter-final match before she had a meltdown. The 17 year old, who was playing fellow Serbian Jovana Jaksic, had trouble making a serve. She took out her frustrations on a line judge, in what may or may not have been an accident. The player threw her racket and hit the line judge in the knee. She was immediately disqualified from the tournament and stormed off the court. She was given a steep fine.
Though John McEnroe had been a controversial tennis player for much of his career, there was one episode that was just a little worse than the rest. During his comeback effort in 1987, McEnroe was playing in the U.S. Open. During a match against Slobodan Zivojinovic, he had three penalties. The first penalty was a minor one and got the player a $500 fine. The second penalty was for verbal abuse against the chair umpire which gave the player a $5,000 fine and a point. The final penalty was for yelling at someone who had a microphone on the court. This penalty was a fine of $2,000. Unfortunately, this put him at $7,500 for fine from the game and he was given a mandatory two month suspension.
During a doubles match at Wimbledon in 1995, Tim Henman lost his temper and hit an errant ball with his racket. Unfortunately, 16 year old ball girl Caroline Hall got in the way. The ball hit her on the head. Though she was fine, Henman was disqualified. He apologized to her and she acknowledged that it was an accident.
Later in that same Wimbledon tournament, Henman's opponent for the match would also leave the tournament in controversial fashion. Jeff Tarango felt he was getting bad calls and grew frustrated during his second round match. He ended up in a back and forth verbal battle with the umpire that culminated with him storming off and forfeiting the match. His wife slapped the umpire twice acknowledging that her husband could not risk his career by doing so.
Though Kristin Watt is not a fan of all sports, she does follow the news on most sports religiously. Major news events in sport do tend to ripple out to others and she makes sure that she never misses the big stories.