Rusedski fined for outburst at umpire

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The Independent Online

Greg Rusedski spent yesterday behind the closed doors of his rented house at Wimbledon following his controversial exit from the Championships.

Rusedski was fined £1,500 by the tournament referee, Alan Mills, for his four-letter tirade against umpire Lars Graff during his second round defeat by Andy Roddick on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old could have reasonably expected a £6,000 fine under precedents set by the International Tennis Federation for audible obscenity. But instead he will still go home with £12,590 after deducting his fine from his winnings for reaching the second round.

The British No 2's outburst came after a spectator called a Roddick forehand out with the American serving at 30-15 but 2-5 down in the third set. Rusedski proceeded to lose the next five games and the match.

The spectator at the centre of the dispute also came forward yesterday. Zilioni Ivaldes told the BBC that he began to shout out of turn during a Venus Williams match, claiming he induced a double fault from the American. Encouraged by that, he attempted to do the same in Rusedski's encounter with Roddick.

Ivaldes now says he will "never, never" return to the All England Club and intends to "lie in shame" for the near future. He also revealed that the crowd turned on him as Rusedski's argument with Graff developed. "It wasn't a huge reaction but when Rusedski lost his serve they started shouting 'You moron, what have you done?' So I started shouting 'Come on Greg'."

Rusedski apologised after the match, and yesterday his wife, Lucy, said: "He is trying not to read the papers and is very reflective. It's over, he's out of the Championships and he's got to accept it. Tomorrow it will be forgotten. There will be another big story."