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Top 10 Biggest Fines in Tennis History

Published 08/16/2019, 4:08 PM EDT

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King of controversies, Nick Kyrgios has been fined with $113,000 by the ATP in the biggest fines in tennis. The Australian was fined for violation of code of conduct during his second-round loss against Karen Khachanov at the Western and Southern Open 2019 in Cincinnati.

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When a tennis player violets a rule and does not follow the tennis code of conduct then the chair umpire or tournament officials have the rights to issue warnings, impose a point and game penalty. Misconduct can also lead to disqualification from the match ultimately the tournament.


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Tennis is considered to be a gentlemen’s game, but there have been various meltdowns from the top athletes of the game. The ATP and WTA players have been fined for misbehavior in the top tournaments from the past 20 years.

From angry outbursts and outrageous displays of racquet abuse to aggressively arguing line calls and abusing the chair umpire, the players have been fined for violating code of conduct on the court. Here are 10 of the biggest fines in tennis history.

Serena Williams was docked with $17,000 fine for the code of violation during her 2018 US Open finals against Naomi Osaka. The American called the umpire a “thief” and a “liar” during her US Open loss.

Williams also accused the umpire of sexism. She said, “There are men out here who do a lot worse than me,” she said, “but, because I’m a woman, you are going to take this away from me? That is not right.”

“You stole a point from me, and you are a thief,” Williams told him.

John McEnroe was fined with $17,500 for using obscene language and arguing the chair umpire calls during his match against Slobodan Zivojinovic. McEnroe had a history of altercations with the chair umpire but his largest fine occurred during the US Open 1987.

The American was involved in a series of arguments with the chair umpire, that included penalties for unsportsmanlike behavior. McEnroe was fined with $17,500 and was suspended for two months. McEnroe later accused the umpire of ruining his match. He said, “Thanks for ruining another match for me. You going to try to set the Guinness Book of World Records for f***ing me?”

Six-time Grand Slam champion, Boris Becker is also included in the list of the biggest fines in tennis. In one of the most unusual penalties in the history of tennis, Boris Becker was fined with $20,000 for false accusation on his opponent, Thomas Muster of using performance-enhancing drugs in their match at the 1995 Monte Carlo Masters finals, when Boris Becker stood at the losing end.

Muster was down to two sets in the finals. He also complained of dehydration during the match, however, he was able to come back from two sets down to win the match. The German was surprised to watch Muster’s ability to recover.

During 2017 Wimbledon Championships, Daniil Medvedev was fined with one of the biggest fines in tennis in the history of Wimbledon since records began in 1991. The next-gen star, Daniil Medvedev was handed three violations of code of conduct for he was he fined totaling $26,000 for throwing coins at the umpire’s chair.

He was charged with $4,000 as a warning for insulting the chair umpire. He was also fined with $3,000 for again insulting the umpire and $7,500 for tossing the coins at her chair.

Fabio Fognini was docked twice for unsportsmanlike conduct and once for using obscene language. One of the unsportsmanlike penalties totaled $20,000. During his first-round victory at the 2014 Wimbledon Championships against Alex Kuznetsov, Fognini smashed his racquet into the court. The Italian was also involved in a heated argument with the chair umpire and with another official at the event.

The fine docked on Jeff Tarango is one of the biggest fines in tennis imposed by Wimbledon. During his match at the 1995 Wimbledon Championships, Jeff Tarango was with a hefty amount of $43,756. He earned a violation after shouting at the spectators to “shut up”. He also called the chair umpire, “The most corrupt official of the game” before earning the second violation.

After Tarango left the court in the second set, his wife, slapped the umpire in the face. The Grand Slam committee of ITF suspended Jeff from two major tournaments including the next year’s Wimbledon Championships.

David Nalbandian was disqualified and fined with $12,560 for unsportsmanlike conduct during the 2012 Queen’s Championship finals against Marin Cilic. David Nalbandian kicked an advertising board in frustration during the match. When he kicked the board, a piece flew to the linesman and cut him on the left shin. Nalbandian’s tournament prize money was also docked, which amounted to be  $57,350, making the total fine to be $69,910.

Bernard Tomic was fined more than $80,000 by the Wimbledon for “not playing up to the required standards” during his first-round defeat against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at the Wimbledon Championships 2019. Tomic was defeated 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 by the Frenchman in just 58 minutes, which turned out to be the shortest singles match at the All England Lawn Tennis Club. He was docked up with all of his prize money and the total penalty turned out to be one of the biggest fines in tennis.

Serena Williams was fined with $82,500, in one of the biggest fines in tennis for a WTA player during the 2009 US Open against Kim Clijsters. The American received a footfault, for which she argued with the linesman and led to a code of violation.

She was also penalized with a point when she was down a match point, this ending her match. Serena Williams also used abusive language against the lines judge. She said, “I’ll take this ball and shove it down your fu%*ng throat”

Nick Kyrgios was fined with more than $35,000 at the Italian Open 2019 for ball abuse, offensive language directed at spectators, racket slamming, and tossing a folding fabric stool into the court. The Australian also lost all the points that he earned from the tournament. He was also penalized to pay the ATP for his accommodation.

However, the Australian broke all the records at the Cincinnati Masters 2019 as he was penalized with the biggest fines of tennis totaling $113,000. Kyrgios abused the chair umpire, Fergus Murphy and broke two rackets after his defeat against Karen Khachanov in the second round of the Cincinnati Open 2019.


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The Australian fines for five different examples of unsportsmanlike conduct. Kyrgios was given a point penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct for which he has been fined $20,000. He left the court without the chair umpire’s permission, which cost him $3,000. The unsportsmanlike conduct took place on four various occasions for which he was penalized with $20,000 for three of them and $5,000 for the remaining one.



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Written by:

Varun Khanna


One take at a time

Starting off as a tennis author in 2018, Varun Khanna has gone on to contribute to EssentiallySports in various capacities. After setting up interviews with the likes of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou, Alizé Cornet, and Noah Rubin, Varun is now part of all major ATP and WTA press conferences and has gone on to pen more than 1300 articles for EssentiallySports. He now heads the tennis and NBA division of the organization.
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