In a moment of frustration, Australian tennis player Marc Polmans smashed a ball into the umpire's face while competing in the Shanghai Masters qualifiers. This resulted in immediate disqualification for Polmans, who was only a point away from victory.
Polmans, ranked No. 140 in the world, was playing against Italy's Stefano Napolitano on Monday, and he managed to win a competitive first set, 7-6 (3). The second set was also a close one and had gone into a tiebreak. Polmans had the lead but failed to convert the match point.
The 26-year-old lost his temper and seemed to be trying to hit the ball out of the court in anger. However, the ball went straight into umpire Ben Anderson's face.
Marc Polmans was disqualified from Shanghai qualifying after hitting the umpire with a ball.— The Tennis Letter (@TheTennisLetter) October 3, 2023
He had match point, & launched the ball out of anger.
The ball hit the umpire at a very fast pace.
Fortunately, The Times reported that a tournament spokesperson said Anderson was "OK when he left the stadium."
Even if Polmans had not hit him, the ATP rules state that players are not allowed to hit tennis balls out of anger.
"Players shall not violently, dangerously or with anger hit, kick or throw a tennis ball while on the grounds of the tournament site except in the reasonable pursuit of a point during a match (including warm-up)," the ATP rules read.
Polmans' fellow Australian, Nick Kyrgios, reacted to the incident on social media. Kyrgios has seen his fair share of fines due to "unsportsmanlike conduct," including a $14,000 fine for smashing two rackets during the 2022 US Open.
"Interested to see what the fine will be all things considered (15 thousand pounds) for the bottle shake at queens," Kyrgios wrote.
Monday's accident was rare, but it has happened before with other players. One of the most infamous occurrences was when 24-time Grand Slam champion Novak Djokovic was disqualified from the 2020 US Open after accidentally hitting a line judge. Djokovic was stripped of the $250,000 in prize money he had earned for making it to the Round of 16, and he was also hit with a $10,000 fine.