An athlete’s ability to harness their emotions, particularly in the heat of the moment of their respective sports, is vital to success.
Unfortunately for Australian tennis player Marc Polmans, who had an opportunity to close out his Shanghai Masters qualifying match against Stefano Napolitano on Tuesday, a loss of composure proved to result in the end of his run at the tournament.
Up 6–6 (6–5) in the second-set tiebreak after winning the first set 7–6, Polmans, who is ranked No. 140 in the world, struck his return volley into the net. What happened next proved catastrophic, as Polmans smashed the ball out of frustration out of play and accidentally into the face of chair umpire Ben Anderson.
Polmans was disqualified for the errant shot, despite being up in the match at the time of the event.
🚨 DISQUALIFICATION 🚨— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) October 3, 2023
Marc Polmans missed a volley on match point at 7-6(3), 6-6 (6-5) and then accidentally hit the umpire.
Stefano Napolitano advances to the main draw in Shanghai as a result.pic.twitter.com/9izXBA1BOl
Anderson had clear grounds to disqualify Polmans for the incident. According to the Association of Tennis Professionals’ (ATP) rulebook: “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).”
According to a report in The Times, Anderson only required ice on his nose and the face after the incident. A tournament spokesperson reportedly said that the chair umpire was “O.K. when he left the stadium.”