Hugo Gaston, a French tennis player, lost more money in a fine than he earned in 2023 due to his attempt at cheating in the second round of the Madrid Open.
On April 28, Gaston competed against Borna Coric of Croatia. After Coric served for the set, Gaston made a desperate defensive lob of the ball. While the ball was in the air, sensing Coric had a smash that could end the game, Gaston pulled another ball out of his pocket and dropped it on the ground. He pointed at it, hoping the referee would grant a do-over because of the wayward ball.
It was an utterly disgusting and cowardly play and embarrassing for all to witness.
The final score of Gaston’s match was 6-3 and 6-3. The ATP Tour fined him $155,000 for the act, his fourth unsportsmanlike conduct infraction of the season.
Up to this point in the season, the French player has only made about $120,000.
The fine against Gaston was reduced to $77,500 when an appeal was filed. During his probationary period of one year, he is not allowed to accumulate any more offenses that would increase the original penalties.
According to ATP regulations, if he obtains a second infraction for the exact cause, the fine would increase by 100%.
Odds are he will probably be paying the increased fine because he has continually shown his true character, which seems to be low rent.
Gaston is currently ranked 108th in the world in tennis and in the upper percentile of angling when his abilities are not equivalent to his opponent.
The 21-year-old has been given a wild card entry into the French Open and the opportunity to improve his ranking by competing there.
Maybe he can resist cheating and focus on beating someone fair and square.
In 2022, he advanced to the third round of the event, one round short of his previous best finish in 2020.