(CNN) -- David Nalbandian was disqualified in the ATP Queen's Club final Sunday for angrily kicking down an advertising board and injuring a court side official.
The Argentinian was leading Croatia's Marin Cilic by a set and trailed 3-4 in the second, having just dropped his service, when the incident occurred.
A Cilic serve to his forehand saw Nalbandian unable to return and he took out his frustration on the board, which was just in front of line judge Andrew McDougall.
The force of Nalbandian's kick left McDougall with a nasty gash to his leg and he stood up to protest to the player.
Umpire Fergus Murphy halted play before ATP supervisor Tom Barnes came onto the court to speak to him and the 30-year-old Nalbandian, who was officially defaulted for "unsportsmanlike behavior."
He later returned to apologize for his actions to the 6,000 capacity crowd at the club in London.
"I am sorry to do that. Sometimes we get very frustrated here on court. It is tough to control," he said.
"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."
A subdued Cilic was handed the tournament trophy, the first ATP title for the 23-year-old since winning in St Petersburg in October last year.
"It was very bitter. It's definitely not the way I wanted to win," Cilic said.
"I can't change it, but I'm really sorry for the fans that it finished like this."
Tournament director Chris Kermode told BBC Sport that officials had been left with no other option than to default Nalbandian.
"David is struggling to come to terms with it. He clearly regrets what happened -- but these things happen.
"Queen's is sold out and the spectators are watching some great tennis, so to have the match end this way is quite disappointing.
"But there's not a lot we can do about it. We are under the governance of ATP rules."
Kermode added that McDougall had been taken to the tournament's medical center to have attention for his injured leg.
An ATP official later told CNN that in their records dating back to 1980 they could not find another instance of a player being disqualified in an ATP final for a similar offense than committed by Nalbandian.