Scotland Yard to investigate David Nalbandian kick

Chris Chase
Busted Racquet

British police will open an investigation into David Nalbandian for his role in bloodying a linesman while kicking an advertising board during Sunday's final at Queen's Club.

Officials ruled that the Argentine had to default the match to Marin Cilic after smashing the sign with his right foot. During that brief outburst, Nalbandian made contact with line judge Andrew McDougal and sent part of the sign flying into his leg. McDougal was bloodied in the encounter but suffered no other injury.

Nalbandian was leading 7-6, 3-4 at the time but was forced to default the match, forfeiting his prize money and rankings points in the process.

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"We are aware of an incident at the Aegon Championships on June 17," a Scotland Yard spokesman said. "A complaint has been made and the Metropolitan police service is now investigating. The allegation is of assault."

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Assault?! Look, I think David Nalbandian should be punished more harshly than the ATP is going to. He deserves a suspension and a hefty fine for injuring the linesman. But assault? Unless the advertising board moonlights at one of those white-wigged British lawyers or is distantly related to Pippa, pursuing any sort of criminal case against Nalbandian is ludicrous.

We could get into a whole debate about on- and off-court actions and whether they deserve the same scrutiny under the law. But that's irrelevant to the main point: Nalbandian kicked a sign and happened to injure someone standing behind it. He was wrong and should be dealt with appropriately. That's by tennis officials, not legal ones.

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