London: David Nalbandian admits his disqualification from the Queen's Club final for kicking an advertising board that left a line judge nursing a bloody gash in his leg was the worst moment of his career.
Former Wimbledon finalist Nalbandian booted the board into Andrew McDougall in frustration after losing his serve in the second set of Sunday's final against Marin Cilic and the Argentine paid the penalty for his petulant actions as he was kicked out of the final moments later.
The fiery 30-year-old, who apologised for his behaviour during an on-court interview after the match, has a history of controversial incidents and was fined for allegedly throwing a cup of water over a doping control official during this year's Australian Open.
He was also disqualified from the junior Wimbledon semi-finals in 1999 after showing up late for his match.
Even Nalbandian had to concede this was a new low and, asked if his Queen's exit ranked as the worst moment of his career, he said: "It's a tough one, yeah. It's a very tough one.
"I know that I made a mistake, 100 percent, and I apologize. I feel very sorry to the guy. I didn't want to do that.
"But sometimes you get angry and can't control yourself in moments like that. These moments happen many times, well to me anyway.
"Maybe you throw a racquet or maybe you scream or maybe you do something like that.
"When I hit the board, I didn't want to do it that bad. But that's the way it is. Sometime you cannot control that few seconds."
Nalbandian was clearly genuinely upset that he had hurt McDougall, who briefly appeared to remonstrate with the Argentine after the incident, and admitted he could have few complaints about the punishment.
"Maybe the punishment is fair. If I have to pay like that, I agree," said Nalbandian, who was leading 7-6 (7/3), 3-4 at the time of the incident.
"I was very angry in that moment. Sometimes its almost like you don't see anything. I just hit the fence and I don't know how to explain that.
"I saw that it was bad. I didn't full realise what happened until I saw him and that's why I stayed there and I was asking him if he was okay.
"He told me he was ok but he had got a cut. So we got a doctor. I just asked about him again and someone told me that he's okay. But I didn't have time to check it by myself."
While Nalbandian was contrite about the actual incident, he also vented his frustrations at the ATP.
He claimed officials impose too many rules on players, including asking them to play in the kind of slippery conditions that have been commonplace over the last few days at Queen's, a traditional warm-up event for Wimbledon.
Nalbandian risked getting in more trouble as he said: "Everybody makes mistakes, right? When somebody else does a mistake, they have to pay in the same way, but the players don't feel that happens much, especially with ATP.
"In the beginning of the year you have to sign that you agree with everything that the ATP says. And sometimes you don't. And if you don't want to sign, you cannot play ATP tournaments.
"Sometimes the ATP put a lot of pressure on the players, and sometimes you get injured because you play on dangerous surface and nothing happens.
"We have to keep rolling all time. There is nothing pay for that.
I don't know if I will get in trouble. I don't really mind. This is what I thought and what many players think."