Tennis player hits chair ump with ball, defaulted


SHANGHAI — Australian tennis player Marc Polmans has been defaulted from the final round of qualifying at the Shanghai Masters after hitting the ball into the face of the chair umpire.

Polmans, ranked 140th, was leading Italy’s Stefano Napolitano 7-6 (3) and the score was 6-6 (6-5) in the second-set tiebreaker on Tuesday when Polmans missed his second match point after hitting a low backhand volley into the net.

The Australian then hit the ball in anger as it bounced back from the net.

His errant hit narrowly missed the ball person before hitting chair umpire Ben Anderson in the face. Anderson was apparently not seriously injured.

The incident was similar to one that saw Canada’s Denis Shapovalov land in trouble during the Davis Cup in 2017. Shapovalov was also disqualified, but his incident saw the chair umpire of that match Arnaud Gabas sustain a fractured eye socket.

Polmans joins Shapovalov, Novak Djokovic and former British player Tim Henman as players to be defaulted from tournaments when their ball abuse saw match officials or ball persons hit.

Henman and his doubles partner Jeremy Bates were defaulted at Wimbledon in 1995 when the young Henman violently slammed a ball towards the net, hitting a ball girl in the ear.

Djokovic was defaulted during the fourth round of the 2020 US Open when he hit a ball and it struck a lineswoman.

The 26-year-old Polmans has never made the main draw of a Masters 1000 event.

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