Crossing a linesman
Argentine let himself down with post-match comments, says Barry
Last Updated: June 21, 2012 1:23pm
Nalbandian lost the Queen's Club final by default due to the incident
David Nalbandian shocked the tennis world on Sunday as he injured a line judge to earn disqualification from the final of the Aegon Championship at The Queen's Club.
"I did feel that Nalbandian let himself down with what he said after the match, to go on with that rant about the ATP. He might feel that inside but that was just not the time."
Barry Cowan Quotes of the week
Having taken the first set but surrendering his serve early in the second, the Argentine reacted angrily to a missed groundstroke, launching a powerful kick at the advertising board surrounding official Andrew McDougall.
The board flew into the shin of McDougall - drawing blood - and Chair umpire Fergus Murphy defaulted Nalbandian and awarded his opponent Marin Cilic the match, with ATP supervisor Tom Barnes ratifying the decision.
Nalbandian apologised to McDougall and fans alike when interviewed shortly after the announcement but also attacked the ATP, stating: "The rule book is very big and I can tell you the ATP do a lot to the players and nothing happens."
Barry Cowan feels that while the incident was unfortunate, Nalbandian picked an inappropriate moment to air his views on the male tennis authorities.
Cowan told Sky Sports News: "It was dramatic. In some ways, I felt for Nalbandian because no player wants to be in that position and every sportsman loses their head at times.
"But it was right that he was disqualified. Any time you do that to an official, the organisers are left in no doubt. I felt sorry for the linesman and let's hope he's okay - I also felt for the 6,000-strong crowd.
"I did feel that Nalbandian let himself down with what he said after the match, to go on with that rant about the ATP. He might feel that inside but that was just not the time - it was the time to just say 'I'm sorry and I feel for the crowd' and move on.
"It was the heat of the moment. I'm not going to sit here and say that I never lost my cool because everyone who plays sport has at some stage. But I think he thought that the boards around the linesman's chair wouldn't just disintegrate the way they did. Unfortunately, it was just held with velcro. If Nalbandian does come back next year, he'll want the DIY people in!
"Other players, male and female, have been put in situations where they're not comfortable but for Nalbandian, he let himself down with what he said about the ATP. If he feels that, then that's a matter that should be brought up at some other time.
"All the good work that he did over the week was undone by the headlines and that he lost all those ranking points. If he'd just held his hands up and apologised, there would have been sympathy there."
Looking ahead to Wimbledon, Cowan has selected six-time champion Roger Federer as his favourite - despite the Swiss legend's surprise defeat to wild card Tommy Haas in the final of the Gerry Weber Open.
Cowan said: "Federer is my favourite. He was my favourite going back a few months because I feel that everything that's happened for him in the last eight or nine months points towards him doing well at Wimbledon and at the Olympics.
"He's winning matches in that period that he wouldn't have won a couple of years ago. I feel he's playing as well as he's ever played. Obviously he's got Rafa Nadal and Novak Djokovic at the top of their games and in Australia and at the French Open, to beat them is too big a task for him. But Federer will feel that a good run is ahead of him.
"As for Andy Murray, going in to a Grand Slam you'd usually say he was the fourth favourite, but the way it's been for him the past month he could be a bit lower than that. I think the top three are ahead of the pack and that Murray needs to play catch-up a bit.
"Perhaps the early exit at The Queen's Club could be the best thing for him - it'll certainly take the pressure off him."