US Open: Mike Bryan fined $10,000 for gun gesture at official
The US Open fined doubles player Mike Bryan $10,000 on Sunday after he received an unsportsmanlike conduct warning in a second-round match early that morning for pointing his racket at an official, mimicking the pointing of a rifle.
On the first point of the 12th game of the second set of Mike Bryan and Bob Bryan’s match against Federico Delbonis and Roberto Carballés Baena, a lob from Delbonis landed close to the baseline and was called in. Mike Bryan immediately challenged the call; a video review showed the ball had landed about half an inch out.
Playful gesture went wrong. Tennis player #MikeBryan slammed with highest fine ever $10, 000 for unwanted gesture towards the judge. Thanks to @DaniilMedwed for kicking off the offence string at @usopen ?????@Bryanbrothers via @usopen @IndTennisDaily #MondayMood pic.twitter.com/IPac2n7fDY
— Indian Sports Fan (@IndianSportFan) September 2, 2019
As the screen validated Bryan’s call, he held his racket in both hands and pointed the handle at the line judge as if it were the barrel of a rifle.
Bryan then pointed his finger at the chair umpire, Mariana Alves, and back to the line judge and shook his head. Alves soon called a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct, to which both Bryans reacted with exasperation.
“Just tell me what I did real quick?” Mike asked. “What was the gesture?”
“The gesture that you did,” Alves replied. “You did it to the line umpire and did it to me. You did with your racket like it was a gun. I don’t think that was appropriate.”
The $10,000 fine for Bryan, 41, was the largest men’s fine of this year’s US Open so far. Gestures evoking guns have come under increased scrutiny during an epidemic of gun violence in the United States; there was yet another a mass shooting Saturday in Texas.
“We thought it warranted that amount,” said Brendan McIntyre, a US Tennis Association spokesman.
Mike Bryan, a six-time champion in men’s doubles at the Open, said in a statement: “I apologize for any offense I may have caused. We won the point and the gesture was meant to be playful. But given the recent news and political climate I understand how my gesture could be viewed as insensitive. I promise that I will never do anything like this again.”
The incident did not hurt the Bryans in the match; they broke Carballés in the game and won, 4-6, 7-5, 6-3.
The largest fine overall at the Open this year was to Carla Suárez Navarro, who received a $40,000 fine for a poor “first-round performance” after she retired after one set of her match Monday. Suárez has said she will appeal the fine.