Tarango in Wimbledon ban

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The Independent Online
Tennis

Jeff Tarango has been banned from Wimbledon next year and fined an additional pounds 18,000, which means he will forfeit his total prize-money (pounds 28,000) from this year's championships, writes John Roberts. The Californian, who walked out on his third round match after a row with the umpire, has also been suspended from one other Grand Slam tournament.

In one of the most bizarre episodes ever witnessed at the All England Club, the 26-year-old Tarango was disqualified after abandoning the court during his match against the German Alexander Mronz on 1 July.

Tarango called the French umpire, Bruno Rebeuh, "the most corrupt official in the game". The player's French wife, Benedicte, assaulted Rebeuh as he made his way back to the referee's office, and Tarango, during his media conference, accused the French official of showing favouritism to certain players in exchange for their friendship.

At the time, Tarango was fined pounds 10,000 - the heftiest sum ever imposed by the All England Club for on-court offences. The penalty was in three parts: pounds 6,500 for verbal abuse to the umpire, pounds 250 for unsportsmanlike conduct (telling the crowd to "shut up"), and pounds 3,250 for failing to to complete the match, resulting in the default.

The ban, plus the additional fine of pounds 18,000, was announced by the International Federation yesterday following an investigation by the Grand Slam authorities. They found Tarango guilty of "aggravated behavour and conduct contrary to the integrity of the game", a charge which carries suspension for one or more of the four major championships for up to three years and a fine of up to pounds 65,000.

Tarango announced his intention to appeal against yesterday's suspension and fine, so he will be eligible to play in the United States Open, which starts on Monday. If he loses the appeal, he will be suspended from the Australian Open in January, in addition to Wimbledon.

The ATP Tour, which runs men's tournaments outside the four Grand Slam championships, is conducting its own investigation into Tarango's behaviour at Wimbledon.

n Boris Becker's coach for the past two years, Nick Bollettieri, has decided to give up the job so that he can concentrate on his tennis academy.

n Andre Agassi, the defending champion, and the three-times winner, Steffi Graf, were installed as the top seeds for the US Open beginning on 28 August. Monica Seles will be the second seed in her first Grand Slam event since the 1993 Australian Open.

SEEDINGS FOR US OPEN: Men: 1 A Agassi (US); 2 P Sampras (US); 3 T Muster (Aut); 4 B Becker (Ger); 5 M Chang (US); 6 G Ivanisevic (Croa); 7 Y Kafelnikov (Rus); 8 M Stich (Ger); 9 T Enqvist (Swe); 10 W Ferreira (SA); 11 S Bruguera (Sp); 12 R Krajicek (Neth); 13 M Rosset (Swit); 14 J Courier (US); 15 T Martin (US); 16 A Medvedev (Ukr). Women: 1 S Graf (Ger); 2 M Seles (US); 3 A Sanchez Vicario (Sp); 4 C Martinez (Sp); 5 J Novotna (Cz Rep); 6 M Pierce (Fr); 7 K Date (Japan); 8 M Maleeva (Bul); 9 G Sabatini (Arg); 10 L Davenport (US); 11 A Huber (Ger); 12 N Zvereva (Bela); 13 I Majoli (Croa); 14 M J Fernandez (US); 15 H Sukova (Cz Rep); 16 B Schultz-McCarthy (Neth).

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