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Tomic fined $15K and loses racket sponsor after Wimbledon outburst


LONDON — Bernard Tomic was fined $15,000 at Wimbledon and dropped by his racket sponsor Thursday – not for something he did during his first-round loss, but for what he said during a news conference afterward.

The penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct was announced two days after the 24-year-old Australian was beaten by Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-3, 6-4, then spoke to the media about feeling “a little bit bored out there.”

Tomic also said Tuesday that he “just couldn’t find any motivation” to compete this year and acknowledged that when he called for a medical timeout against Zverev, he did so not because of an injury issue but to “try to break a bit of momentum.”

Racket maker Head issued a statement via its Twitter feed on Thursday saying: “We were extremely disappointed with the statements made at Wimbledon by one of our sponsored athletes, Bernard Tomic. His opinions in no way reflect our own attitude for tennis, our passion, professionalism and respect for the game.”

The statement concluded: “Therefore, we have decided to discontinue our collaboration with Bernard Tomic.”

The fine amounts to more than a third of Tomic’s prize money: First-round losers at the All England Club this year earn 35,000 pounds (about $45,000).

Tomic has not reached the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam tournament since losing at that stage at Wimbledon against eventual champion Novak Djokovic in 2011. That year, at age 18, Tomic became the youngest man to reach the quarterfinals at the All England Club since 1986, when Boris Becker won the title.

Tomic reached a high of No. 17 in the ATP rankings in 2016; he entered Wimbledon at No. 59.

“I feel holding a trophy or, you know, doing well – it doesn’t satisfy me anymore,” Tomic said Tuesday. “It’s not there. I couldn’t care less if I make a fourth round (at the) U.S. Open or I lose (in the) first round. To me, everything is the same. I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again.”

Also losing a chunk of change for unsportsmanlike conduct at Wimbledon was Daniil Medvedev of Russia, who threw a handful coins in the direction of the chair umpire after a second-round loss Wednesday. Medvedev was given three fines totaling $14,500 – $4,000 for a code violation warning during the match, $3,000 for earning a point penalty later and $7,500 for his conduct after the match.

The 49th-ranked Medvedev repeatedly apologized during his news conference, saying he was not trying to imply that umpire Mariana Alves was biased.

“I was just disappointed and (did) a stupid thing,” said Medvedev, who earned headlines for a decidedly different reason Monday, beating three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka in the first round.

When his 6-4, 6-2, 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 loss to Ruben Bemelmans ended, Medvedev shook hands with his opponent and Alves. But then he grabbed his wallet from his bag and tossed the coins toward the bottom of the official’s chair.

6-time champ Djokovic loses at Miami Open to Benoit Paire

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Novak Djokovic’s 16-match Key Biscayne winning streak ended, and his struggle to overcome a bothersome right elbow continued.

Djokovic lasted barely an hour at a tournament he has won six times, losing his opening match Friday in the Miami Open to Benoit Paire, 6-3, 6-4.

The defeat was Djokovic’s third in a row. He returned from a six-month injury absence at the Australian Open and lost in the fourth round, and was upset two weeks ago at Indian Wells by Taro Daniel, a 109th-ranked qualifier.

Against the 47th-ranked Paire, Djokovic dropped serve four times, returned poorly and had difficulty anticipating his crafty opponent’s drop shots.

In women’s play, Naomi Osaka’s breakthrough winning streak ended with a loss to No. 4-seeded Elina Svitolina 6-4, 6-2. Osaka said began feeling ill before the match but didn’t want to retire after upsetting eight-time champion Serena Williams in the first round.

The 20-year-old Osaka is ranked a career-high 22nd and won her first career title last week at Indian Wells.

Djokovic sat out the last half of 2017 because of problems with his racket-swinging arm, saying it had been bothering him for more than a year. He was sidelined again after this year’s Australian Open and said he had a “small medical intervention” on his elbow.

The 12-time Grand Slam champion didn’t seem to favor it against Paire, but his shots lacked their usually snap and sometimes were awkwardly struck, including the last two on match point.

In the first set Djokovic served with a chance to reach 5-all, but from 40-0 he lost five consecutive points and the set. Another dismal stretch came when he was broken at love in the final game of the match.

The loss was Djokovic’s first at Key Biscayne since 2013. He missed last year’s Miami Open but won the title three consecutive years in 2014-16.

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Top-ranked Halep wins tough 3-setter in Miami

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KEY BISCAYNE, Fla. (AP) Top-ranked Simona Halep of Romania struggled to post a 3-6, 6-3, 7-5 second-round win over French lucky loser Oceane Dodin at the Miami Open on Thursday.

In the first career meeting between the players, Halep allowed the 98th-ranked Dodin to break her serve on six of seven opportunities she presented in the match, which lasted more than two hours.

Halep broke Dodin’s serve for the seventh time at 4-4 in the third set before closing it out.

Halep played in her third career Grand Slam final at the Australian Open in January, but has yet to secure a Grand Slam trophy.

Halep’s best Miami Open was reaching the 2015 semifinals.

Also Thursday, former No. 1 Angelique Kerber of Germany advanced to the third round with a 6-2, 6-2 win over Johanna Larsson of Sweden.

Kerber is 19-4 this year and has reached at least the quarterfinals of all five tournaments she’s played.

Kerber, the 2016 Australian Open and U.S. Open champion, won her first tournament since that U.S. Open at Sydney in January. She also reached the Australian Open semifinals.