The ATP made a statement last week by fining Nick Kyrgios a record-setting $113,000 for his Cincinnati tantrum. Now that the all time fine leaderboard has shifted, let’s take a look back at the five heftiest fines in tennis history.
Jeff Tarango, Wimbledon 1995
After being forced to replay a point in which he hit a clean ace, Jeff Tarango was understandably upset. He then told a heckling fan to “shut up” and received an audible obscenity warning.
Neither “shut” nor “up” are technically obscenities, and the fans voice could be heard clearly as Tarango began his service motion.
Tarango escalated the dispute by calling the chair umpire “the most corrupt official in the game,” for which he was awarded another code violation. He then stormed off the court, and the All England Club hit him with a then-record-setting fine of $43, 756. Also, his wife slapped the chair umpire after Tarango left the court. You really can’t make this stuff up.
David Nalbandian, Queen’s Club 2012
Now this incident was insane. The 2012 Queen’s Club final came to an abrupt end after David Nalbandian, out of frustration, kicked a wooden sponsorship board accidentally into a linesman’s shin.
Although it was accidental, blood was dripping down the linesman’s leg and Nalbandian was promptly defaulted from the match. In total, Nalbandian was fined $69,910 for the incident.
Bernard Tomic, Wimbledon 2019
This past Wimbledon, the All England Club fined Bernard Tomic his entire first round prize money for perceived lack of effort and “not playing up to the required standards” in his first round match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
Tomic won 38 percent of points this match, but lost in less than an hour. Part of Tomic’s game, for better or worse, involves strategically tanking in order to throw his opponent off rhythm. Tomic appealed the fine, but lost.
This particular fine did not sit well with several current ATP players. It will be interesting to see if any legal action follows this unprecedented decision by the All England Club.
Serena Williams, US Open 2009
The infamous foot fault heard 'round the world was not Serena’s finest moment.
After receiving a questionable foot fault call while down 4-6, 5-6, 15-30 on her second serve in the 2009 US Open semifinal against Kim Clijsters, Serena lost her cool, and then some. She told the line judge, “I’ll take this ball and shove it down your (explicative) throat.”
Understandably, Serena was awarded a match-ending point penalty for the verbal abuse. She was quick to apologize for the incident, but not before she was handed a then-record fine of $82,500.
Nick Kyrgios , Cincinnati 2019
The ATP made a statement by fining Nick Kyrgios a record setting $113,000 for a laundry list of offenses in his second-round match against Karen Khachanov.
In addition to calling chair umpire Fergus Murphy “a f***ing tool,” Kyrgios left the court without permission to smash two racquets. He returned to the court with the cracked racquets in hand.
Handing out massive fines will likely be the ATP’s response to Kyrgios’ antics. Kyrgios is still a tremendously popular player that draws massive fan interest in any tournament he plays. He is a habitual line-stepper, but he finally crossed the line with an outburst you have to see to believe.
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