Monday, 18 June 2012

Restorative Justice in Sport - Tennis Caught

This may only be lawn tennis not the real (royal) version but let's run with the idea of a court.  A court of justice.

The brief facts from the Guardian:

Already up one set David Nalbandian lost a point and the game to go 4-3 down to Marin Cilic at Queen's.  He kicked out at an advertising hoarding damaging it and, collaterally, the shin of the line judge, Andrew McDougall.

The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) Tour Supervisor, Tom Barnes immediately defaulted Nalbandian costing him the match, his runner-up prize money of £36,144 and his 150 ranking points.  So pretty summary justice.  And Nalbandian did not take it well, sounding of at the ATP and some of its rules - particularly in making players play when they don't feel it is safe to do so.  The Guardian's Sports Blog found this and the disgruntled punters demanding that play continue, 'disgraceful'.

In making line calls etc, tennis umpires and their teams have to operate summary, even Robocop, and sometimes 'hawkeye' justice but this incident, off court, might have been dealt with more slowly.

In the heat of the moment Nalbandian was clearly ungracious at losing my annual salary in one fell swoop and he may suffer additional punishment.  But had someone thought to mediate between Nalbandian and McDougall might a better result - for tennis and the disappointed crowd.

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