The ATP Tour (Association of Tennis Professionals) takes Unsportsmanlike Conduct very seriously.
Ranked 108th in the world, 22-year-old French tennis star Hugo Gaston just learned firsthand the severity of Unsportsmanlike Conduct after receiving a hefty fine that’s more than he’s earned this year.
During the Madrid Open, Hugo Gaston pulled a second ball out of his pocket while his opponent was hitting a shot. It was determined that Gaston was attempting to get the umpire to call a ‘let’ so he wouldn’t lose the point.
Here is the point in question, you can see Hugo drop a ball while his opponent is waiting to hit an overhead shot and win the point:
Hugo Gaston taking a ball out of his pocket as Borna Coric is hitting an overhead to try to get the umpire to call a let 🙄#hugogaston #madridopen #bornacoric #gaston #fakelet#badsportsmanship #tennis #coric #unsportsmanlikeconduct #atp pic.twitter.com/BaHjlUrFUx
— Roberto (@rrrobertooo) May 23, 2023
The incident caused quite the stir on social media in Tennis circles. Many Tennis fans were left in disbelief at Gaston’s antics.
So far this season, Hugo Gaston has earned a little over $120,000 on the ATP Tour. He received a hefty fine of around $155,000 (144,000 Euros) for the Unsportsmanlike Conduct, or $35,000 more than he’s earned playing tennis this year.
What led to the hefty fine is this wasn’t his first Unsportsmanlike Conduct offense this season. And the ATP Tour says Unsportsmanlike Conduct fines “increase by 100% with each consecutive violation in the same season.”
By that logic, should he incur another Unsportsmanlike Conduct fine this season it would be in the range of $240,000 and one of the largest fines in sports history.
After appealing the fine, Gaston may get it reduced down to $77,500, according to the Associated Press. But that is contingent upon him meeting “certain conditions, including no additional violations during a probationary period of a year.”
As things stand, only Serena Williams’ $175,000 fine in the 2009 US Open would be higher than Hugo’s, making it the second-highest fine in Tennis history.
Hugo Gaston has received an invitation to compete at the French Open which began on Monday. The Roland-Garros event runs from May 22 to June 11 this year. The tournament is currently in the qualifying stages.