Argentina's David Nalbandian was defaulted from his Queen's Club final against Croatia's Marin Cilic on Sunday for kicking out and injuring a line judge.
Nalbandian was leading 7-6 3-3 when he dropped serve in the seventh game and reacted by slamming his right foot into an advertising board which splintered and gashed official Andrew McDougall's left leg.
The shocked McDougall instantly winced and clutched his leg, which had blood seeping from the shin, and after some on-court attention he was eventually escorted off the ground to the club's medical centre.
After prolonged discussions between the umpire and other tournament officials, Nalbandian was defaulted which left the packed Centre Court crowd whistling and jeering.
ATP rules state instant disqualification in such instances but the Argentine, a Wimbledon finalist in 2002, felt he had been harshly punished.
"I'm very sorry to do that," the 30-year-old told the crowd.
"Sometimes you get frustrated on court and it's tough to control...it is a mistake.
"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. Everybody makes mistakes."
Tournament director Chris Kermode said rules had to be obeyed.
"David Nalbandian ran across and in frustration kicked the panel out from under the line judge. It splintered and cut the linesman's leg, leaving him quite seriously injured," he said.
"Rules are rules. The ATP forced us to end the final. David is struggling to come to terms with it. He is very sorry for what he has done."
(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Alan Baldwin)