David Nalbandian insists that he still intends to play at Wimbledon, despite the furore surrounding his disqualification at Queen’s Club.
The Argentinian was a set up in the final of AEGON Championship, against Marin Cilic, before losing his cool in the second set.
Nalbandian saw his serve broken at 3-3 and expressed his frustration by kicking an advertising board and, in the process, injuring a line judge.
Queen’s officials say they had no other alternative than to disqualify the player and end the match, much to the anger of the capacity crowd, and fans enjoying the live tennis at home.
The 30-year-old has since apologised for his actions and, although he has received a lot of criticism over the incident, he is intent on taking his place in the main draw at SW19.
Nalbandian said: “I am sorry, and I regret the kick that unintentionally hurt the line judge. I never intended to hit him; it was an unfortunate reaction, in which I wanted to relieve the loss of a point.” The Argentine’s representative, Bernado Ballero, stated: “I can confirm to you that David’s thoughts are about playing at Wimbledon.”
Nalbandian has never won a grass-court event before, but his best Grand Slam performance to date was at Wimbledon, even though clay has been always his favoured surface. The world number 39 reached the final at SW19 in 2002, were he lost in straight sets (1-6, 3-6, 2-6) to Australian player, Lleyton Hewitt.
Nalbandian was knocked out in the third round of Wimbledon, last year, going out in straight sets to world number three, Roger Federer. Bookmakers are laying odds of 150/1 on the Argentine winning at SW19; place your online bets on Bet365 to take advantages of the best prices, this summer.