In the wake of series of violent outbursts from its players, the ATP (men’s governing tennis body) is likely to hand out stricter sanctions against disciplinary violations.
Several players have had violent outbursts on the court and put fans, umpires and ball kids in the way of harm.
According to reports, ATP chairman Andrea Gaudenzi announced a review into judging on-court behaviour.
“Effective immediately and as we head into the clay court swing, the ATP officiating team has been directed to take a stricter stance in judging violations of the code of conduct,” an internal memo read.
“Additionally, we are also undertaking a review of the code, as well as the disciplinary processes, to ensure that it provides appropriate and up-to-date penalties for serious violations and repeat offenders.”
In February, Alexander Zverev struck the umpire’s chair several times and once almost hit him in the foot after losing the first round of doubles in Mexico.
Though he was kicked out of the tournament and fined, Zverev did not suffer any serious repurcussions for his act.
Instead, he was handed a suspended ban and put on probation.
During the Indian Wells Masters, Jenson Brooksby flung a racquet towards the back board and it went on to hit a ballboy.
The American got away with just a point penalty during the match.
The ATP may go on to review cases like these and retrospectively hand out much tougher sanctions.
“We all have a role to play to uphold the reputation and integrity of our sport,” Gaudenzi added.
“The first three months of the season have seen an unusual frequency of high-profile incidents involving unsportsmanlike conduct.
“These incidents shine a bad light on our sport. This conduct affects everyone, and sends the wrong message to our fans, especially young fans.”