Queen's final: David Nalbandian disqualification as it happened

Reaction after David Nalbandian is disqualified from the Aegon Championships final at Queen's after causing an injury to a line judge.

17 June 2012 Last updated at 16:52

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As it happened

  1. 1637: 

    You can make up your mind on the incident by replaying the moment Nalbandian lost his cool. If you want to have your say on the matter then please add your comments at the bottom of the report. It's time for me to bid you goodbye. What a turn of events! Join us in a little over a week for you know what. Yes, Wimbledon. Will it get more controversial and dramatic than the final we've just had?

  2. 1633: 

    Ash Jones on Twitter: "Why didn't Nalbandian do that yesterday so Dimitrov went through to the final!"

    Lorna Button on Twitter: "I hope they throw the book at Nalbandian."

    Barnaby Mollett on Twitter: "People had paid £103 for tickets to see tennis at Queen's. Why? For £103 I'd have watered a garden and run around kicking things."

    Jonny Wride on Twitter: "At least we now have something to remember Queen's 2012 by, a very forgettable tournament."

  3. 1627: 

    Craig from Evesham on 81111: "Nalbandian has no one to blame but himself. He chose to kick out exactly where the judge was sitting."

    Marie on text: "I don't know how any commentator can even start to find excuses for such blatant undisciplined behaviour. He should have been escorted off the court immediately. What an example to set to young people. Let the line judge kick his shin and see how he likes it."


    Michael Blighe on Twitter: "People can complain all they want, but their anger should be towards Nalbandian. He knows the rules, he acted unacceptably."

    Peter Thomson on Twitter: "Why are people sticking up saying Nambadian's actions weren't deliberate. If you did that on the street you would be arrested!"

    Lin1876 on Twitter: "Kudos to Nalbandian for speaking his mind in my view."

  5. 1621: 

    Tom Barnes, ATP supervisor, has made his way to the studio. Loquacious the American is not but he does explain that Nalbandian will not be punished "beyond this tournament". "He knows the rules," Barnes tells presenter-turned-interrogator Barker. "I wasn't surprised by his comments. I think he was concerned in the last few days when we have been playing when the grass has been slippery and he might have thought it was not safe. I think the courts were playable. Were they slippery? Yes. Unfortunately, I have no choice in that situation.

    "We don't carry it any further than what happened on court and at this tournament. Nobody wins in this situation. It is a bad situation for everybody and David did not do that on purpose."

  6. 1617: 

    For those of you who want to know. The ATP code states: "Players shall not at any time physically abuse any official, opponent, spectator or other person within the precincts of the tournament site. For purposes of this rule, physical abuse is the unauthorized touching of an official, opponent, and spectator or other person." So there you go. Keep calm and carry on is what one must do when one goes a break down in the second set.

  7. 1615: 

    BBC Radio 5 live summariser David Felgate: "Nalbandian has got it all wrong. It wasn't a sincere enough apology. To go off on some political rant had no bearing on what he did. I wonder if there could be a bigger fine for bringing the game into disrepute for that speech. He didn't even apology to the touch judge or Marin Cilic. It was a poor show from David Nalbandian."

  8. 1612: 

    The incident looks worse with each replay. You'll be able to see Nalbandian's moment of madness soon on this website. The 10th seed, according to Castle and John Lloyd in the commentary box, antagonises the situation with his comments: "There are a lot of rules, the rule book is very big. The ATP have made mistakes with the players and nothing happens."


    Former Grand Slam doubles champion Peter Fleming on BBC Sport: "We players sometime like to think of it as us versus the world, as if we are victims. But sometimes you have to take responsibility and it was unfortunate Nalbandian didn't go for that when he had the opportunity."


    Dafydd Lewis on Twitter: "Loving the drama at the tennis!"

    Russ King on Twitter: "I'm not surprised people are booing in the crowd, some of them have paid £103 each for a ticket and don't even get a proper result."

    Nick Morris on Twitter: "Unruly crowd at Queen's silenced only by the power of 'shhhh' from Sue Barker. What a legend."

  11. 1608: 

    David Nalbandian is called to answer Sue Barker's questions. Good luck, David. "I am sorry," says the Argentine, to some booing and some cheering. "I am sorry to do that. Sometimes we get very frustrated here on court. It is tough to control. Something it is a mistake. It is a tough moment to end a final like that. Sometimes we feel the pressure from the ATP. It is a mistake and I have to pay for that. Everybody makes mistakes."

  12. 1604: 

    Marin Cilic has a chat with Sue Barker on court and confirms it "definitely" wasn't the way he wanted to win the match. "It was very bitter," he says. "The match was set up with David Nalbandian a break down in the second set having won the first. But things like that I can't change. I'm really sorry to the guys for this. To end like this is not easy. The match was getting hot and it's tough to see the final finishes like this. It's been a very good week and I've played some good tennis. I'm going to Wimbledon in good form and it has been great preparation.

  13. 1603:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "It's a huge shame for this tournament. They've had a difficult week with the weather and the top seeds going out. And when they think they have got a great finale, this happens. Unfortunately Nalbandian left them with no option. They cannot start bending the rules because 12,000 have paid to watch. That image is going to be an instant YouTube hit. It's going to be played for many years to come as one of the great tennis outbursts."

  14. 1602: 

    Tournament organiser Chris Kermode: "It is just one of things. In sport these things happen. It was an unbelievable final, the sun was out and it was shaping up to be the best match of the week. David Nalbandian ran across and in frustration kicked the panel out from under the line judge. It splintered and cut the linesman's leg, leaving him quite seriously injured. Rules are rules. The ATP forced us to end the final. David is struggling to come to terms with it. He is very sorry for what he has done."

  15. 1601: 

    It's a sell-out at Queen's and they're not happy, but rules are rules, I suppose. "This is not the way we wanted this to end," says a voice on the tannoy. The usually docile Queen's Club crowd have turned into militant hecklers from a Victorian age. The jug with the big ears is awaiting Cilic and, at last, the Croatian has a smile on his face. He lifts the trophy to warm cheers from an unhappy crowd.

  16. 1557:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "The reaction of the line judge, straight away, wasn't just pain - it was 'what on Earth have you done that for?' It was just disbelief. It could have been quite nasty if the board had splintered."

  17. 1554:  
    Andrew Castle, BBC Sport

    "It's a full house here at Queen's and the sun is out. The final was really getting going. It was one hour 20 minutes of tennis that was building. There will be a hefty old fine for that and, more so, it will be more embarrassing for David Nalbandian. You should also think about the line judge who had a nasty old gash.

    "It will be mortifying for Nalbandian. I don't think for a moment he will blame anyone else but himself. This one will go down in history. I think it is called aggravated behaviour."

  18. 1553:  
    Jonathan Overend, BBC Sport

    "When the crowd see a replay like that they will accept that he would have left the officials with absolutely no choice. If they'd let him go it would not look good for the sport. In a one-man sport, when you play for yourself and effectively get a red card, what can you do? You're left with nobody else."

  19. 1552: 

    David Felgate on 5 Live: "He got incredibly frustrated and he just lost it. The crowd are booing because this is all over. I hope in the press conferences afterwards we get an explanation. You can't injure an official and expect to go on."


    Alastair Campbell on Twitter: "Oh dear! Crowd upset at match ending early after Nalbandian racket chuck. If it hadn't cut the linesman's leg nothing would have been done."

  21. 1550: 

    Nalbandian has now removed his bandana and is talking to the officials. It doesn't seem as if they will change their minds, though, as the photographers are already on court to capture Cilic lifting the trophy. The crowd continue to vent their frustration and Andrew Castle describes the incident as "embarrassing". "There'll be a hefty old fine," he says on BBC One. "I don't think he'll blame anybody but himself. When I saw the line judge rolling around I thought 'that's an instant'."


    Jeers from the spectators and a forlorn Nalbandian can just look ahead into the distance. Cilic has won the title but he's just glumly sitting in his chair. This isn't how the Croatian wanted to win the title.

    OUCH!- *Cilic 6-7 (3-7) 4-3 Nalbandian

    In a blink of an eye Cilic has three break points and Nalbandian is on the ropes. A magnificent return proves to be the knockout blow. Hang on... The Argentine looks to be in trouble! The 30-year-old kicks an advertising board in frustration, which injures a line judge. The poor man has blood seeping from his shin and seems to be in shock. Nalbandian could be disqualified here. Blimey.

    Cilic 6-7 (3-7) 3-3 Nalbandian*

    Fabulous from Nalbandian. Fabulous I say! Sometimes the Argentine's racquet turns into a magic wand, a deft lob getting the better of Cilic and he conjures two break points. And he wins the game in style, Nalbandian displaying the dexterity of a gymnast by immediately rising to his feet after a slip to hit a forehand back from whence it came which Cilic can only tamely net.

    Latest from the Netherlands: Clijsters, who has not played since March because of a right hip injury, has won her first-round match against Oprandi at the UNICEF Open.

  25. 1531: 

    Mike in Stockport via text on 81111: "Would Nalbandian be the first South American to win any grass-court title?"

    * Cilic 6-7 (3-7) 3-2 Nalbandian

    Nalbandian looks in fine health to me as he holds to 15 when Cilic attempts a lob, which bounces beyond the baseline. The players, now drenched in sweat, head to their seats for a deserved break.

    Cilic 6-7 (3-7) 3-1 Nalbandian*

    The good people in the 5 live commentary box comparing Nalbandian's shirt - white with jagged lines in array of colours on the front - to Steffan Edberg's circa 1986. I digress, Cilic looking in fine form, mixing play nicely and treating the fans to some serve and volley. A wincing Nalbandian grabbing hold of his leg, though, at the end of that game, but it doesn't look too serious.

  28. 1529: 

    Iain Weir on Twitter: "Is this really the best preparation for Philippe Mexes ahead of his crucial Euro 2012 match on Tuesday?"

    We think Nalbo looks more like Triple H of WWE fame.

    *Cilic 6-7 (3-7) 2-1 Nalbandian

    Nalbandian thinks he's held to love when the umpire stops play because of a rogue ball on court. It matters not one jot however as the 10th seed easily closes out the game. Neither player setting the second set alight yet.

    Cilic 6-7 (3-7) 2-0 Nalbandian*

    Nalbandian awakes from his slumber to level at 30-30, but the Croatian gets the better of him in a baseline battle and sends down another howitzer of a serve into the wings, leaving Nalbandian flapping at air.

  31. 1523: 

    David Felgate on BBC Radio 5 live: "Nalbandian was probably thinking, 'a set and 1-0 up, very nice'. But from nowhere, Cilic cranked it up and hit winners from everywhere. Nalbandian wasn't resting on his laurels, it was just that from nowhere Cilic changed the momentum up straight away."

    *Cilic 6-7 (3-7) 1-0 Nalbandian

    Cilic needs to start hitting top gear if he is to experience the joy of winning his first title of the year. The Croatian seems to be listening me - probably checking updates during the changeover. He wrong-foots Nalbandian with a powerful forehand into the corner and steals the game with an unstoppable return winner down the line. Fist pump from the Croatian. Stern looks from the Argentine.

    GAME AND FIRST SET- Cilic 6-7 (3-7) Nalbandian*

    A terrible start from Cilic, a couple of wayward forehands and a double fault awarding Nalbandian a mini break. The players swap ends, and the sun retreats into the clouds. Nalbandian angrily grunts when he realises his looping forehand is drifting wise. Cilic has a sniff of a chance. But the Argentine's forehand is back on song and the tennis Gods shine on him too, a favourable net cord helping him win the set.

    Latest from the Netherlands, Clijsters has won the second set and is into the decider against Romina Oprandi of Switzerland.

  34. 1510: 

    Stephen in Newcastle via text on 81111: "The serve and volley for both players will be key today. The surprise change-up will pay dividends and obviously the more first serves the better."

    Ed via text on 8111: "Haas beat Djokovic in the final of Halle in 2009, and went onto the semi-finals of Wimbledon, beating Djokovic in the QF before losing to Fed. Haas is, and always has been, a very decent three-set player but no way has the fitness levels to play five sets."

    *Cilic 6-6 Nalbandian

    Tie-break it is, folks, as Nalbandian holds to love, completing an easy peasy hold with a bullet out wide which Cilic could only frame.

    Cilic 6-5 Nalbandian*

    Classy play from Cilic as he serves out wide before conjuring an unstoppable forehand winner beyond the wrong-footed Nalbandian. The Argentine, once third in the world rankings, steps in to send a backhand whizzing beyond the scrambling Cilic, but he then ruins his good work by netting to gift Cilic the game.

    *Cilic 5-5 Nalbandian

    The bandana-clad Nalbandian races to 30-0, Cilic forcing play a tad too much with his groundstrokes. The advancing Nalbandian then rushes the sixth seed into a wild forehand and, as cool as a really cool cucumber, he wraps up matters to stay in the set.

    Cilic 5-4 Nalbandian*

    Deserved applause from the fans after Cilic punishes a lazy Nalbandian volley by curling in a forehand winner. HawkEye proving the shot grazed the line. And the Croatian's serve is now on song as he holds in a blink of an eye.

    *Cilic 4-4 Nalbandian

    The court now bathed in glorious sunshine, the sky a welcoming blue - peppered with white fluffy clouds - instead of dishwater grey of this morning, and the match is boiling up nicely, too. Cilic moving Nalbandian hither and tither, but the Argentine wrestles back control of the point by advancing to the net for 40-30 and goes on to comfortably hold.

    Cilic 4-3 Nalbandian*

    A trouble-free hold for Cilic and the 23-year-old moves ahead for the first time in this match thanks to an impressive service game.

    *Cilic 3-3 Nalbandian

    An unlucky net cord for Nalbandian sees Cilic level at 15-15, and a beautiful shot from the scampering Cilic, who whips a backhand winner beyond Nalbandian, sees him edge ahead at 15-30. Nalbandian bashes away at Cilic's backhand, but to no avail as the Croat dashes to the net to bring a 20-shot rally to an end with a superb volley for break point. Nalbandian looks to have rescued the situation, but his lob drifts beyond the baseline by a whisker and we're all square.


    Karthi Gnanasegaram on Twitter: "Tommy Haas beat Federer at Halle?! What a result."

    Cilic 2-3 Nalbandian*

    Cilic has put his foot on the pedal and is nicely moving through the gears, the Croatian holding to 15 with a delightful smash beyond the stranded Nalbandian. By the way, Cljisters has lost the first set in her comeback match at the UNICEF Open at the Netherlands.

    *Cilic 1-3 Nalbandian

    Nalbandian treating the spectators to the array of tricks he has at his disposal, a magical forehand into the corner the highlight and it looks comfortable for the man from Cordoba until Cilic, deciding to vary play, comes into the net and we're at deuce. Play is brought to a brief halt when the umpire asks whether there's a doctor in the house. Hopefully it's not anything too serious. "Probably dehydration," says Andrew Castle in the commentary box, obviously learnt a few things from Dr Hilary when on the breakfast TV sofa. Anyway, Nalbandian wraps up the match with a big serve.


    Jonny in Lancs on 81111: "I think it will be a close final, it if picks up the wind Nalbandian can cope, if not Cilic will out-rally him."

    Cilic 1-2 Nalbandian*

    Cilic has produced a couple aces so far in this match, but he needs to add a bit more bite to his lethal weapon if he is to trouble a man of Nalbandian's caliber. Nalbandian, the world number 39, earns two break points but danger is averted for Cilic thanks to two venomous serves into the Argentine's ribcage, and the Croatian wraps up proceedings when Nalbandian nets a forehand to end a lovely little rally.

    *Cilic 0-2 Nalbandian

    Nalbandian has beaten Cilic in four of their five meetings, although this is their first encounter on grass. The last time the pair met was on Nalbandian's home turf earlier this year and it was Cilic who came out on top of that battle in five sets. A first win for the Croatian over Nalbandian. The Argentine has started well today, though, looking far more at ease than his rival and holds to 15.

    Cilic 0-1 Nalbandian*

    A nervy start from Cilic. A wonderful return into the corner bamboozles Cilic and the veteran Nalbandian has his 23-year-old opponent on the backfoot at 30-0. An ace down the middle drags Cilic back level at 30-30 but the Cilic's forehand starts to malfunction and he gifts Nalbandian break point at advantage before sending down another menacing ace down the middle. The Croatian, though, finding it difficult to hit over the net and Nalbandian steals the opening game.

    * Denotes next server

  49. 1418: 

    The players are limbering up on what is a sun kissed court. Ok, not exactly scorching in west London but that bright star in the sky is peeking through ominous-looking dark clouds. Some patrons are even wearing shades. Cilic will serve first and we will be under way in less than a minute...

  50. 1416: 

    Cilic too has been chatting to Inverdale and the 23-year-old admits reaching this final "means a lot". Glad to hear it, Marin. "I was working really well in these last six weeks and I feel my form is on the rise," he said. "You have to believe in yourself and believe that what you're doing is the right thing. I would say (playing Nalbandian) on grass is a little bit different, he can be very dangerous if you're not serving well and can be one of the best returners in the game. The most important part for me is going to be the start points."

  51. 1411:  
    John Lloyd, former British number one on BBC One

    "What a year Nalbandian has had - he's moved up about 45 places in the rankings. We know his past, reaching the final of Wimbledon in 2002 and getting to the semis of all the other Grand Slams. Cilic has also made his way up and should be a top-10 player as well. He moves well on this surface and is very dangerous going into Wimbledon. I think it will be very good final."

  52. 1409: 

    John Inverdale has been speaking to Nalbandian. Asked whether he's considering retiring, the 30-year-old replied: "I still have enough energy to play a good level, as soon as I don't feel like I'm at that level then I'm going to give up."

  53. 1406: 

    Don't forget you can watch coverage of this final on BBC One right now and listen to it on BBC Radio 5 live and hopefully I don't have to tell you that your live text commentary team will bring you game by game coverage. Don't forget to get involved. Send us your predictions on today's match and your musings on this week's tennis - a week of surprises, I'd say. You can do so by tweeting using the hashtag #bbctennis or text 81111 with TENNIS before your message.


    The Times tennis correspondent Neil Harman on Twitter: "Be intrigued to know what Andy Murray thinks of Tommy Haas' victory over The Fed in Halle today. Pretty spectacular I'd say."

  55. 1359: 

    There's been a surprise in Germany as Tommy Haas has beaten five-time champion Roger Federer 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 in the final of the Gerry Weber Open. Should we read anything into that result ahead of Wimbledon, especially considering Rafael Nadal's early exit from the same tournament and Murray and Tsonga's unspectacular efforts at Queen's?

  56. 1356: 

    If you've been wondering what British number one Andy Murray has been up to since his departure from west Kensington after that surprise defeat by Nicholas Mahut then you can read his latest column on this website. The Scot has been hitting with Lleyton Hewitt at SW19 and it definitely sounds like the glass is half full for the Brit.

    "When I won Queen's last year it finished on Monday - exactly a week before Wimbledon started - so I was a little bit tired and didn't practice too much before the tournament began," he says. "Now, I'll have time to get all the hard work done, but that's the only bonus. I'll actually spend more time on the grass being out of Queen's than I would have if I was still in it."

  57. 1349: 

    Cilic will be hoping to capture his first ATP title of the year and the sixth seed is cock-a-hoop after what he believes has been . "Playing a final, [there is] more motivation, more everything," said the 6ft 6in right-hander after his 6-3 3-6 6-3 victory over 2010 champion Sam Querrey. "Definitely a great week for me."

  58. 1342: 

    Nalbandian proved too good for Grigor Dimitrov in the semi-finals, with the 2002 Wimbledon finalist displaying glimpses of his best form in blustery conditions. The 30-year-old admitted his 6-4 6-4 win over the Bulgarian was not a great spectacle. "The wind was terrible," he said, before predicting a tough match against Cilic. "I know he has a good serve, but I think I'm playing good, I'm in good shape, let's see what happens."

  59. 1338: 

    Who needs Andy Murray and Baby Fed anyway. Pah. have always been my favourites and the duo will serve up some magical tennis at Queen's Club today. The sophisticated Argentine Nalbandian is competing in his first grass-court final in 10 years and his deftness around the court will be an intriguing contrast to the big serving game of Croatian beanpole Cilic.


    Mike Dickson on Twitter: "Ok weather for final of AEGON Championships, Nalbandian v Cilic, latter my pick. Not Murray v Tsonga but not bad either."

  61. 1332: 

    Good afternoon everyone, welcome to the final day of the tournament the top seeds did not want to win. Defending champion Andy Murray failed at the first hurdle. Second seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga did a tad better but found the wall that was Ivan Dodig to be impenetrable and left nursing a strained little finger. Third seed Janko Tipsarevic decided he didn't fancy playing tennis on Father's Day while Baby Fed… Oh, baby Fed. He captured our hearts but the fairytale abruptly ended.

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