Letter: Wimbledon faults

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The Independent Online
Sir: While the Wimbledon authorities were no doubt correct to disqualify Tim Henman for striking a ball in anger (report, 29 June), by doing so they have highlighted their inconsistent treatment of previous breaches of the rules.

Why has no player ever before been penalised by more than a point or a fine for persistent verbal abuse of officials, racket-smashing, illegal massage between games and so on, whereas a first offender who clearly did not intend to hurt anyone suffers the ultimate penalty?

Perhaps the rules allow no alternative; but one cannot help wondering whether a Becker or an Agassi would have received such harsh treatment.

If Henman has unwittingly made it easier for players who behave badly to be defaulted as a matter of course, perhaps we should welcome what has happened.

Yours faithfully,

Graham Shipley


29 June