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Last Updated: Thursday, 26 June, 2003, 10:34 GMT 11:34 UK
Rusedski fined for outburst

Greg Rusedski
In the third set I lost it a little bit and I apologise for my language
Greg Rusedski

Greg Rusedski has been fined just 1,500 for his obscene outburst at Wimbledon on Wednesday.

The British number two could have been fined 6,000 - almost half his 14,090 prize money - for making an audible obscenity during his second-round defeat by Andy Roddick.

But tournament referee Alan Mills decided on a more lenient penalty when the duo met on Thursday.

"I have made a reasonable investigation into the conduct of Greg Rusedski and have decided to fine him the sum of 1,500 for his audible obscenity.

"The chair umpire Lars Graff was absolutely correct in his appliance of the "Hindrance Rule" which says: 'Crowd noise, "out" calls from spectators and other similar distractions are not considered a hindrance and the point should stand."

Fellow Briton Tim Henman had words of encouragement for his Davis Cup team-mate.

"Greg has apologised and there's nothing more he can do," said Henman. "I'm sure he will accept it (the fine) and move on."

The British number one also expressed his reservations over Mills' decision to back umpire Lars Graff's refusal to replay the controversial point.

"It's a difficult one but, if they are the rules of tennis, you have to go with them," Henman told the BBC.

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Rusedski dominated the backpages following his Centre Court exit at the hands of Roddick.

Towards the end of the eagerly-awaited match between two of the game's biggest servers, Rusedski lost his cool when he mistakenly thought a call from the crowd had actually come from a line judge.

He aimed a volley of abusive language at umpire Graff which could be heard clearly on television.

He later apologised for his outburst at the after-match press conference.

"There's no way I should have done it and I have only myself to blame," said Rusedski.

"I apologise for my language. It was not necessary, I regret it and I am sorry."

BBC Sport's executive editor of Wimbledon coverage, Paul Davies, defended the decision not to fade out Rusedski's swearing.

Duties and Procedures for Officials 2003, Page 25
Outside hindrance: 'If a player is hindered by anything not within his control (a ball rolling onto the court, a paper blowing onto the court etc.) during play or during his/her service motion, the point should be replayed.'
Crowd noise, "out" calls from spectators and other similar distractions are not considered a hindrance and the point should stand as played.'

"It's a moment's decision and it's tough. I was thinking afterwards, if it had been in Parliament and an MP started swearing, would BBC News cut away?

"It's a big story and we're telling it like it is."

Davies asked his commentator Barry Davies to apologise on air following Rusedski's outburst.

"I asked him to apologise, not on behalf of the BBC but on behalf of Greg," he added.

Umpire Graff chose to let Rusedski's behaviour pass, though he could have penalised him for breaching the players' code of conduct.

Rusedski could have been called for racket abuse for hitting the net with his racket and tossing it to the floor.

He could also have been penalised points (or eventually disqualified) for his verbal abuse.





Links to more Wimbledon 2003 stories


 

WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Mike Naylor
"Tournament referee Mills has been lenient in fining Rusedski"


Britain's Greg Rusedski
"I wish I handled it better"


WIMBLEDON 2003

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