Wimbledon Drama: Jack Draper dodges major fine with legal loophole

Sunday, 07 July 2024 at 22:00
Jack Draper avoided a hefty fine at Wimbledon following his furious outburst against Elias Ymer. The 22-year-old player exploited a 'legal loophole' and faces a fine of up to £6,250 for hitting the grass with his racket, though he managed to avoid a more severe penalty.
The world No. 28 did not have the expected performance at SW19 after a surprising second-round defeat to his compatriot Cameron Norrie. Draper was considered one to watch at Wimbledon after a strong grass-court season but failed to make a deep run at All England Club.

Draper's grass-smashing incident

During his clash with Ymer, Draper resorted to extreme measures to win the match in five sets. He targeted his own kit bag with a racket outburst against the Swede, resulting in the hefty fine.
Damage to the SW19 grass incurs significant penalties due to its potential impact on other scheduled matches. Recent figures show six male players have already been fined around £16,000 for 'unsportsmanlike conduct' and 'racket abuse' during the tournament, although Draper is not among them.
BBC Wimbledon presenter Claire Balding explained Draper's situation: "Plenty of times in the past, John McEnroe among others has demanded more passion, particularly from British players," she said.
“Well there’s no doubt Draper has plenty of that, smashing the racket there onto his bag, which is quite sensible because you get fined if you damage the grass. If you damage yourself or your own kit, then that is – albeit, I guess it can be painful – not going to earn you a fine.”
Jack Draper at Wimbledon.
Draper wasn't the only one to have a fury outburst this week. Russian Andrey Rublev suffered a first-round defeat to Argentine Francisco Comesana and unleashed his anger by hitting his racket against his knee, causing him to bleed from the force of the blows.
“I would not do it if I was able to hit the racquet on the floor,” Rublev said. “Because we're not allowed to hit them with the grass. I don't know why in that moment, I couldn't take it anymore. I needed to let emotions out. But thanks, everything is fine. Again, I was a bit lucky.”

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