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Wimbledon: Tournament officials reviewing Victor Hanescu spitting incident

June 26, 2010 |  7:29 am

A spokesman for the All England Club (where Wimbledon is held) said in a statement Saturday that officials are reviewing an incident that happened Friday night when 31st-seeded Romanian Victor Hanescu spit towards some hecklers in the crowd at Court 18. Shortly after, Hanescu retired in the fifth set of his match with German Daniel Brand.

The official reason was a leg injury, but Hanescu had asked for the match to be halted because of darkness, and when it wasn't, Hanescu seemed to quit trying on many points, purposely foot-faulting and not running for balls.

He was issued a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct after the spitting. The maximum fine for an unsportsmanlike conduct violation carries a maximum fine of $10,000. That was the initial fine levied against Serena Williams last year after the U.S. Open semifinal where Williams thrust her racket towards a lineswoman after a controversial footfault call and made a verbal threat. Later the International Tennis Federation added another $82,500 to the fine by calling it "a major offense of aggravated behavior."   

Hanescu's behavior is being considered here as the most egregious since 1995 when American Jeff Tarango argued with chair umpire Bruno Rebeuh and then quit his match after his wife slapped Rebeuh.  Tarango was given a one-year Wimbledon ban.

-- Diane Pucin