Dead rubber game, quarter-final the next day… no surprise the Aussies are taking no chances!
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga has lashed out at Wimbledon officials for hitting Bernard Tomic with one of the biggest fines in tennis history.
Tomic was docked STG45,000 ($80,460) for not giving his best efforts during his 6-2 6-1 6-4 first-round loss to Tsonga in a heavy-handed ruling that fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios branded “outrageous”.
The 58-minute cameo was the shortest men’s singles match at the All England Club in 15 years, with the fine representing Tomic’s entire first-round prize money.
“All players are expected to perform to a professional standard in every grand slam match,” a statement from the club said.
“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.”
Having denied not trying, Tomic is expected to appeal – and Tsonga doesn’t blame him.
Tsonga said his opponent had “of course” fallen victim to his reputation, having been fined in the past for questionable performances.
“That’s touchy because they will do that with him and not with others, and I think it’s a little bit too much,” Tsonga said.
A former Australian Open runner-up and five-times grand slam semi-finalist who has twice reached the last four at Wimbledon, Tsonga also believes the fine discredits his victory, during which he hammered 21 aces in 12 service games.
“I will say it’s also, for me, it’s like what I did was not win,” Tsonga said.
“It’s like me was just here and I just won because they said he didn’t play enough.”
Tomic said “next question” when asked if he’d given his best efforts during the match.
“I think I played as best as I could. It’s just I played terrible. And he served 24 aces or…,” he said.
Kyrgios said he didn’t agree with “fining the guy all of his prize money”.
“He earned his right to be in the draw. He played the whole year. He’s obviously winning enough to be at the most prestigious tournament in the world. To take all his prize money I think is outrageous,” he said.
“I just hope Bernard is all right.”
John Millman also weighed in, saying his countryman deserved the benefit of the doubt and that it was difficult to prove a player wasn’t trying.
“Bernard, at times, when you look at him play – and I played him in Estoril – he’s not the most intense player,” Millman said.
“We’re kind of polar opposites. Some people probably say I’m kind of over-intense on court.
“And some people function better when they actually keep a bit of a low intensity.
“I’m not sure of the ins and outs – what I will say is that I think it’s really hard to gauge, to make a judgement call like that.”
Two years ago, Tomic was fined more than $20,000 and dumped by his racquet sponsor after admitting he was “a little bored” and feigned injury during a similarly meek first-round Wimbledon loss to Mischa Zverev.
Officials were trying to determine if Tomic’s fine was the biggest ever handed out.
Former women’s world No.50 Anna Tatishvili was fined STG41,000 for performing “below professional standards” in her first-round match at this year’s French Open.
Tatishvili lost 6-0 6-1 to Maria Sakkari in 55 minutes, but has appealed the sanction, claiming the fine was “unfair and discriminatory”.