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The Roar


Polmans pays price for tantrum: Aussie player disqualified on match point after whacking ball at umpire

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3rd October, 2023

Australian Marc Polmans has been disqualified after hitting the umpire with the ball during his qualifying match for  the ATP Tour 1000 Shanghai Masters.

Polmans was furious after squandering a second match point in a two hour, 34 minute battle with Italian Stefano Napolitano. 

Leading 7-6 (7-3) 6-6 (6-6) he put a return into the net. As the ball bounced back towards him he smashed at it and the ball flew from close range into the face of British official Ben Anderson.

It was a virtual replay of an incident involving Canadian Denis Shapovalov during a Davis Cup clash with Great Britain in 2017.

The umpire on that occasion, Arnaud Gabas, was left with a fractured eye socket. Anderson appears to have escaped serious injury, with a tournament representative saying he was struck on the cheek and nose and had returned to his hotel to rest.

Polmans, the world no. 140, will not take home any prize money or ranking points earned during qualifying, having won his first match against Alibek Kachmazov. 

Further action may follow. Nick Kyrgios, referring to one of his own fines, which cost him nearly A$30,000, posted on X (formerly known as Twitter): “Interested to see what the fine will be. All things considered (15 thousand pounds) for the bottle shake at queens.”


The 26-year-old Polmans was one of seven Australians in the second and final round of qualifying, four of whom reached the main draw to join another seven compatriots in the opening round.

Top seed in qualifying Rinky Hijikata took just 80 minutes to see off Benjamin Lock of Zimbabwe 6-1 6-4, while James Duckworth also enjoyed a straight-sets victory, 7-6 (8-6) 6-2 over fellow Aussie James McCabe.

World No.256 Dane Sweeny was a 6-2 6-1 winner over South Korea’s Seongchan Hong and world No.292 Philip Sekulic defeated Arthur Weber of France 6-4 6-3.

However, Luke Saville was beaten 6-3 6-3 by Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin and Li Tu pushed American Aleksandar Kovacevic to three sets, but lost 2-6 7-6 (10-8) 5-7.

Alex de Minaur, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Jordan Thompson, Alexei Popyrin, Max Purcell, Chris O’Connell and Aleksandar Vukic all skipped qualifying due to their rankings.

World No.2 Carlos Alcaraz will make his Shanghai debut later in the week, while defending champion from 2019 Daniil Medvedev, Holger Rune, Casper Ruud, Jannik Sinner and Stefanos Tsitsipas are also among the field.