Tennis star Hugo Gaston has been fined £125,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct – more than his entire earnings for 2023.
The 22-year-old Frenchman found himself 5-3 behind in the opening set of his Madrid Open match against Borna Coric in April. But he dropped a spare ball from his pocket onto the court just as his Croatian opponent sought to smash home a winner on set point.
Some suggested Gaston, who received a warning for performing the same action last season, did so in an attempt to get the umpire to call a let and therefore have the point replayed.
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The world number 108 went on to lose the match in straight sets, as well as being hit with a hefty £125,000 fine for what the ATP deemed underhand tactics
Gaston has earned just £101,000 in prize money since the start of the year, having struggled in his ATP Tour level matches and at the Challenger Tour.
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The ATP have now agreed to halve the fine following an appeal by Gaston, provided he goes 12 months without receiving another sanction.
The ATP said in a statement: "Following an incident during his second round in Madrid, Hugo Gaston was fined €144,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
"Under ATP 2023 regulations, fines increase by 100% for each new offence during the same season. This was Gaston's fourth unsportsmanlike conduct offence in the 2023 season.
"Following an appeal, the fine was reduced to €72,000, a reduction subject to certain conditions including no further offence by Gaston."
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