On Sunday, the ITF released its list of player fines issued during the first week of Roland Garros. Among those found to have committed on-site offenses included Stefanos Tsitsipas, once each for coaching ($3,000) and unsportsmanlike conduct ($2,000), and Alexander Zverev, for abuse of racquets and equipment ($3,000). However, one decision clearly stood out from the rest.
Anna Tatishvili was penalized her entire first-round prize money, $51,520, as a referee determined that the Georgian born-American did not meet required standards of play in her first-round performance. Tatishvili was defeated by 29th seed Maria Sakkari, 6-0, 6-1, in 55 minutes, and won exactly one third of the total points in the match, 31 of 93.
9 women (and 16 men) have been fined so far at #RG19. Six of those 9 were for “coaching and coaches” while Tatishvili got the biggest fine, by a lot, for “first round performance.” She lost to Maria Sakkari 6-0, 6-1. pic.twitter.com/83UpuuHEI0— Nina Pantic (@ninapantic1) June 2, 2019
WTA staff writers had different take.https://t.co/85XsLy3UuL— Duane Yeomans (@papak8) June 2, 2019
According to Article III, section G, in the ITF’s Grand Slam rule book, factors that may be taken into account include: (i) the player did not complete the match; (ii) the player did not compete in the 2-3 week period preceding the Grand Slam; (iii) the player retired from the last tournament he/she played before the Grand Slam; (iv) the player was using a Protected or Special Ranking for entry; (v) the player received a Code Violation for failure to use Best Efforts.
A former world No. 50, Tatishvili falls under two of these clarifiers. The 29-year-old gained entry into Roland Garros by using her protected ranking of No. 107; and did not compete in any lead-up events in the 2-3 weeks ahead of the French Open. Tatishvili has not played a tournament since October of 2017, when she reached the semifinals at the $25k event in Sumter, S.C.
Tatishvili underwent her third ankle surgery in late January of 2018. Prior to playing this past Tuesday, the last time Tatishvili contested a major was in the first round of the 2017 Australian Open. Should Tatishvili wish to appeal, she must pay the fine in its entirety. She must state her case in writing within 10 days after the final day of Roland Garros, and supply facts and any circumstances as part of her appeal.
The rule book states, "Upon receipt of such an Appeal, the Director, GSB shall conduct a reasonable investigation of the facts and circumstances surrounding such incident and shall affirm or reverse in whole or in part the determination of the Referee. In the event of a whole or partial reversal the Director, GSB shall remit to the player all or part of the fines collected in accordance with the disposition of the appeal."
Beginning at the 2018 Australian Open, the ITF has worked to reduce player retirements and withdrawals at the Grand Slam level—incentivizing players with health issues to pull out ahead of their first match in exchange for half of first-round prize money.
Catch up on Week 1 at Roland Garros on the TENNIS.com Podcast: