The Australian was fined his entire prize money due to a perceived lack of effort (Picture: Getty)Novak Djokovic and Nick Kyrgios have both criticised Wimbledon over the decision to fine Bernard Tomic his full first-round prize money for putting in a lack of effort in his defeat to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
The Aussie was only on court for 58 minutes on Tuesday, losing 6-2 6-1 6-4, and was fined £45,000 – 100% of his prize money – after the match referee adjudicated that he had ‘not performed to the required professional standard’.
But the decision has been criticised for being too severe given that Tomic won seven games in the contest, and Djokovic – who is president of the ATP player council – feels he should have retained some of the prize money.
Djokovic felt there were enough factors in play for Tomic to keep some of his prize money (Getty)He told reporters: ‘I have not seen the match. Bernard definitely has a history of playing matches with less effort, let’s call it that way. But when you tell me now the score and what has happened, and I followed it a little bit the last few days, I don’t think it’s fair to take all his prize money away.
‘I have to see obviously his behaviour, movement on the court, how much effort he put in. He deserved his right to be in this tournament. He’s a top 100 player. He’s worked all year to be here. He deserves most of that prize money, I would guess.
‘If there is a fine, that’s okay. If there is a judgment from the organisation, the tournament, the referees office that he was not putting as much effort as he was supposed to, which I also understand. It’s not nice for the crowd, the other players that maybe would want to be in the position to fight to get to the second round.
‘He played against Tsonga, who is a great player on grass. Various factors were in place. I don’t think right now if you ask me that’s completely clear to take the entire prize money.’
Kyrgios felt Tomic was treated harshly despite the match being the shortest since 2004 (Getty)Fellow Aussie Kyrgios was also sympathetic towards Tomic and feels his naturally laid-back playing style can often betray the amount of effort he’s putting in.
He explained: ‘I think it’s a little rough, maybe all of the prize money. I mean, one, Tsonga is an unbelievable player. Two, I think people kind of when they watch Bernard, they just think because he moves a little slow, plays the game a little slower, he doesn’t look maybe as engaged as, I don’t know, say, a [Pablo] Carreno Busta or something. They just assume he’s maybe not trying or giving 100%.
‘I don’t agree with fining the guy all of his prize money. He earned his right to be in the draw. He played the whole year. He’s obviously winning enough to be at the most prestigious tournament in the world. To take all his prize money I think is outrageous. I just hope Bernard is all right.’