The International Tennis Federation fined Dmitry Tursunov US$7,500 (£4,000) yesterday for an outburst during the Russian's fourth-round defeat at Wimbledon on Monday.
After losing his service in the 15th game of the fifth set to give Finland's Jarkko Nieminen an 8-7 lead, Tursunov hit a ball towards the chair umpire Fergus Murphy. The Irish official ruled that Tursunov had deliberately tried to hit him and gave him a point penalty.
When the match ended with Nieminen winning 7-5, 6-4, 6-7, 6-7, 9-7, Tursunov tugged at Murphy's hand and waved a finger in his face. After the match he labelled Murphy an "idiot" and likened the Dubliner to Saddam Hussein.
"Just because he has been doing it for many years doesn't mean he's been doing a good job, does it?" said Tursunov, who added that he had not meant to hit the ball in Murphy's direction. "Saddam Hussein has been in Iraq for a while, but not too many people agreed with his point of view," he added. "For the last three matches when he was in the chair I have always had problems with him.
"Maybe it is something personal now. He never gives an overrule but then he gives a point penalty at 8-7. If the guy is an idiot, the guy is an idiot and I am going to let him know that I feel that."