The fiery Nalbandian, who had won the first set 7-6 (7/3) against Croatia’s Marin Cilic, had just lost his serve to fall 4-3 down in the second when he reacted with a frustrated kick at the board, which was just in front of line judge Andrew McDougall.
A stunned and angry McDougall then rolled up his trousers to reveal a bloody gash on his leg before appearing to remonstrate with Nalbandian.
Play came to a halt and after a delay of several minutes, ATP supervisor Tom Barnes came onto the court to speak to umpire Fergus Murphy and Nalbandian.
It soon emerged that the 30-year-old’s petulant behaviour had been punished with disqualification “due to unsportsmanike behaviour” and Cilic was declared the champion.
Nalbandian responded by waving his arms in frustration while the 6,000-capacity crowd jeered, but the former Wimbledon finalist later returned to the court to apologise for his actions.
“I am sorry to do that. Sometimes we get very frustrated here on court. It is tough to control,” he said, before also launching into a rant against ATP chiefs.
“It is a tough moment to end a final like that. Sometimes we feel the pressure from the ATP. It is a mistake and I have to pay for that.
“There are a lot of rules and sometimes they don’t do anything. The rule book is very big and I can tell you the ATP do a lot to the players and nothing happens.”
Barnes said that Nalbandian had accepted the sanction and said further punishment was likely to follow.