Tennis player apologizes for hitting ump with ball

SHANGHAI — Australian tennis player Marc Polmans has apologized for hitting a ball into the face of the chair umpire during final-round qualifying at the Shanghai Masters, which led to him being immediately disqualified.

Polmans, ranked 140th, had match point against Italy’s Stefano Napolitano in the second set Tuesday when he missed a volley and then hit the ball in anger as it bounced back from the net.

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

“An update from me – the umpire, Ben, has accepted my apology for my actions,” Polmans posted on social media platform X. “He knows it was unintentional, and I shanked the ball on the frame in frustration in the heat of the moment.

“We both move on. It was a high-pressure situation and I should have reacted better.”

Polmans joins Denis Shapovalov, Novak Djokovic and former British player Tim Henman as players to be disqualified from tournaments after hitting a match official or ball person with a ball.

Polmans is also set to forfeit any prize money and rankings points picked up during the qualifying tournament.

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