Australian tennis player fined $56,100 for not trying hard enough at Wimbledon



Wimbledon and the All England Club take the Grand Slam tournament very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that Australian player Bernard Tomic was dealt a hefty fine this week for not trying hard enough in his first-round loss to France’s Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Tuesday.

In the All England Club’s statement, Tomic failed to “meet the required professional standards” in his 58-minute 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 loss, and he has been fined 45,000 pounds, or what comes to about $56,100. It was all of his prize money from his first-round appearance. He does, however, have the opportunity to appeal the decision.

The statement cited the rulebook regarding the decision to fine Tomic, via New York Times tennis writer Ben Rothenberg:

“All players are expected to perform to a professional standard in every Grand Slam match. With respect to First Round Performance, if in the opinion of the Referee the player did not perform to the required professional standard, the Referee may determine that the player be subject to a fine of up to first round prize money.”

Lasting less than an hour, it was the shortest men’s match at Wimbledon since 2004 when Roger Federer topped Alejandro Falla in just 54 minutes.

During his press conference after the loss, which only lasted a few minutes, 26-year-old Tomic was curt with his answers. At one point, he was asked if he was happy with his effort and performance, and it was one of several times he responded: “Next question, please.”

It’s reasonable to think that measuring a player’s effort is impossible and handing out fines is a little ridiculous, but there is a reason this rule exists. As the Associated Press reported:

Fines for a lack of effort are on the rise in tennis following the introduction of a performance rule in 2018 that aims to deter players who enter tournaments while injured from retiring during first-round matches.

This also isn’t the first time the All England Club has fined Tomic. He was fined $15,000 in 2017 for saying he was “a little bit bored out there” about his losing match.

Here’s a part of his press conference transcript, via Wimbledon:

Q. Hard to get into a rhythm with someone serving like that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, I played pretty bad.

Q. What do you put that down to? Are you feeling okay?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, yeah, I just played terrible.

Q. Lasted just 58 minutes. Do you think there was any lack of effort on your part or…
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I returned pretty bad. Didn’t see his serve. Pretty terrible match.

Q. Are you happy with the effort you were putting in?
BERNARD TOMIC: Next question, please.

Q. Have you still got the desire to sort of work your way back up the ranks?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, played well last week. This week, tough first round. I knew if I didn’t feel good I’d lose this match quickly. We played so fast. It’s not like we’re gonna have a lot of rallies out there, for sure.

Q. In terms of preparation, were there any issues for you?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. Just played terrible.

nt”

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Via OverwatchWire


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