At the Australian Open and in the final at Queen's; twice this year, this tall blond man flew into a rage, synonymous with defeat. David Nalbandian, who withdrew from the BNP Paribas' Davis Cup this week, and whose...

At the Australian Open and in the final at Queen's; twice this year, this tall blond man flew into a rage, synonymous with defeat. David Nalbandian, who withdrew from the BNP Paribas' Davis Cup this week, and whose game is unthinkable without passion, has agreed to look back with us on these two unfortunate episodes.

In January, during the second round of the Australian Open against John Isner, you had a problem with the French referee Kader Nouni (he went back on one of his line judge's decision who announced a fault for Isner and then considered that the Argentine asked for his challenge “too late”, Editor's note). Despite having three break points in hand, the game slipped away from you... We all make mistakes and the only important thing is to learn, to accept them and to try to correct them. I try to override my anger quickly, because if I don't let go, I can’t move forward. It’s in the past now, even if I regret not having seen the hawk-eye, to see if it was right or not... John McEnroe said: "This referee shouldn't be allowed to referee anymore." Is it also what you think? Just as we make mistakes, the referees do too. When I'm wrong, I admit it. This is not always the case with the referees. Do you know McEnroe? Do you feel close to him and his fiery character? I happened to meet him a few times on the tour over the years. I have a strong personality, I give everything on the court and sometimes I make mistakes, as can happen to anyone. Since he retired there has been no other player like him, everything seems much more "sanitised" now... (Very curt) I have no opinion on the subject. In general, we say that with experience comes wisdom, but you haven't changed, you don't seem to do half-measures... It's true, I'm still the same, and I will stay that way. Maybe now I think a little more off the court but when I play, I can't go against my nature. What happened in the Queen's’ final? When you kicked the small sign by the line judge, there was still plenty of time to play and you were a set up... It's quite simple, I made a mistake, it came like that and I immediately apologized. I didn't want to hurt or disrespect anyone. I was wrong, I've been punished and it will certainly help me to evolve. How do you explain this loss of control? It just takes millisecond. I can’t explain what happened just after losing that point. Well, it's over. Do you regret it? Yes, of course. Which is why I apologised immediately. Where does your uncompromising personality come from? It probably has to do with my genes (Smiles). The mix of Italian and Armenian blood from my parents certainly has a lot to do with it! Argentine athletes always seem more passionate... I can't imagine any activity without passion. It doesn't imply that you have to be violent or aggressive. Passion, when you manage to master it, is an essential ingredient to engage in any activity. Interview by Florent Torchut