Marc Polmans: Australian tennis player disqualified from Shanghai Masters for smashing ball at umpire's head after losing match point

A tennis player has been disqualified from his match after he hit a ball at the umpire, hitting the official in the face.

Marc Polmans, 26, had just failed to convert a match point during his qualifying match against Italian Stefano Napolitano at the Shanghai Masters.

Angry at hitting his shot into the net during his match, the Australian world number 140, who was born in South Africa, belted the ball in the general direction of the stands but instead hit British official Ben Anderson.

The umpire clutched his head and slumped to his right as Polmans approached the chair with his hand out, seemingly apologising.

Anderson, who was hit on the cheek and nose, appeared to have escaped serious injury, and a tournament spokesperson said he had returned to his hotel to rest.

Polmans was trying to reach the main draw of what would have been his first-ever appearance at a Masters 1000 event.

But he was disqualified on the spot, with world number 253 Napolitano getting into the main draw instead.

The Australian also loses any prize money and ranking points he picked up during the qualifying tournament, having won his first match against Alibek Kachmazov.

In 2017, Canadian player Denis Shapovalov hit a ball at an umpire during a Davis Cup clash with Great Britain.

It fractured the eye socket of the official, Arnaud Gabas and, like Polmans, Shapovalov was immediately defaulted.

The 17-year-old Canadian trailed Kyle Edmund two sets to love at the time in the deciding rubber.

Read more from Sky News:
Super Bowl winner dies in plane crash
Beckham's World Cup red card left him 'clinically depressed'
Snooker player forfeits frame over wrong trousers

Two of the greatest men's players of all time, Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, have also accidentally hit officials with balls.

Djokovic was thrown out of the 2020 US Open after accidentally hitting a woman line judge with a ball and was widely criticised for immediately leaving Flushing Meadows.

The year before, Federer tried to hit a serve, which was out, back over the net, but instead caught one of the ball boys by the net square on the head.

Tim Henman, and his doubles partner Jeremy Bates, became the first players to be disqualified from a tournament in the Open era when the former British number one accidentally hit a ball girl on the ear at Wimbledon in 1995.

Henman later apologised with flowers.