Federer: Stricter penalties possible for using phones on court

Thursday, May 30, 2013 /by
AP Photo
AP Photo

After using his smart phone to take a picture of a ball mark he disputed at Roland Garros, Sergiy Stakhovsky said he should pay a penalty. Stakhovsky earned a code violation for unsportsmanlike misconduct after snapping the image of the ball mark.

"It is not allowed, and I should be fined," Stakhovsky told USA Today. "I was not intentionally breaking the rules. It went a little too far. It was about being a little funny, sarcastic in some way."

Stakhovsky was fined $2,000 on Thursday.

Gael Monfils also used his phone during a match, taking a video of the crowd doing the wave during his win over Ernests Gulbis.

ATP and ITF rules bar the use of electronic devices during play. ATP Player Council president Roger Federer told reporters that stricter penalties could be written in the future.

“It's happened before. It's only going to happen more,” Federer said. “Wouldn't be surprised if they change the rules because of it again. If you do it, fines are going to be more severe, all these things, because we are moving this professional route.

"I think it's pretty funny, actually. The problem is that clearly there could be coaching going on through mobile devices. Probably be so easy to do. Go to the toilet and you hide it somewhere in the toilet—I'm just saying anything is possible. You have to hope that the players use it in a funny way and it's not meant bad or disrespectful.”

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