It was shaping up to be a classic AEGON Championships final. David Nalbandian had pipped the opening set against Marin Cilic on a tie-break, but the Croatian was fighting back strongly, and broke to lead 4-3 in the second set. But then there was a moment of madness from David Nalbandian. Having dropped his serve to love, disgusted with himself, he aimed a kick at the hoarding that sits around the line judges' chair. Splintering the hoarding and following through with his foot onto line judge Andrew McDougall's leg, the combination of foot and wood opened up a nasty gash on MacDougall's leg. ATP Supervisor Tom Barnes had little choice but to default Nalbandian for "unsportsmanlike conduct." He will forfeit his prize money from the week at Queen's, and could be fined up to $10,000 on top of that.
"I do a mistake and I apologize, and I feel very sorry to the guy," Nalbandian said. "I didn't want to do that. But sometimes you get angry. Sometimes you cannot control that moments that many time happens. When I hit the fence, I didn't want to do it that bad as was. But that's the way it is. Sometime you cannot control that few seconds and made a mistake. This is a bad situation for everybody that I really apologize for that."
For Marin Cilic, who was handed the title 6-7 4-3 after Nalbandian's disqualification.
"Definitely very sorry to finish the tournament like this, especially in the final where we both I think played good tennis" Cilic said. "He's obviously pretty sad to finish like this. I gonna take it as that I had a really good week, played some good tennis. I played also good today and came here to play four, five matches. I won them. I also was winning pretty comfortably in those first two, three and feeling really good and I think form is in the way on the spot where it should be."
What the tournament said
ATP Supervisor Tom Barnes
"It's an unsportsmanlike conduct and the supervisor has the authority to declare an immediate default. Once I saw the injury, no that was not a judgement call. I didn't have any other option."
Tournament Director Chris Kermode
"It's not the way we wanted to finish the final, by any means. David regrets what he did. He was very apologetic. I can understand their [the crowd's] frustration. But from a rules perspective, there was absolutely no other choice."
"There was no way he intended to do that. It would be foolish to sa he's not welcomed back to this tournament. He's devastated by this, as you can imagine."
After the hullabaloo
Max Mirnyi and Daniel Nestor claimed their first doubles title together on grass, defeating the Bryan brothers 6-3 6-4.
Meanwhile in Birmingham
Play finally began to get back on track after extensive rain delays for the past three days, as tournament organisers churned through quarter-final and semi-final matches today. Melanie Oudin will face Jelena Jankovic in the final on Monday.
Grass court tennis continues this week with the AEGON International in Eastbourne, and of course, qualifying begins for The Championships at the Bank of England Sports Grounds in Roehampton. You'll be able to follow qualifying live, right here on Wimbledon.com.