French participant Hugo Gaston was fined 144,000 euros (£125,000) for his fourth instance of unsportsmanlike conduct of the yr – greater than his 2023 earnings.
He dropped a spare ball from his pocket on to the courtroom when opponent Borna Coric was about to smash a winner on set level on the Madrid Open in April.
If a second ball is deemed to have interfered with play, the umpire calls a let and the purpose is replayed.
Gaston, 22, appealed in opposition to the fantastic, which might be halved with circumstances.
The governing physique of males’s tennis, the ATP, mentioned the scale of the fantastic mirrored the actual fact the Frenchman – who ended up shedding the match in straight units to Coric – had been beforehand warned about comparable incidents.
“Per ATP Guidelines in impact from 2023, fines associated to unsportsmanlike conduct improve by 100% with every consecutive violation in the identical season,” the ATP mentioned in a press release. “This was Gaston’s fourth violation for unsportsmanlike conduct within the 2023 season.”
It added the fantastic could be diminished to 72,000 euros (£62,000) “topic to sure circumstances, together with no additional such violations incurred by Gaston over a 12-month probationary interval”.
World quantity 108 Gaston, who has been awarded a wildcard for the French Open, which begins on Sunday, has received about £98,000 in prize cash this yr.