- Mike Bryan has been fined $10,000 by the US Open after pointing his racket at an official like a rifle.
- Bryan made the gesture during a second round doubles win over Federico Delbonis and Roberto Carballes Baena on Sunday.
- The ill-timed gesture followed a gunman killing seven people in a mass shooting in Texas.
- “I apologize for any offense I may have caused. We won the point and the gesture was meant to be playful,” Bryan told reporters after the match.
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American tennis player Mike Bryan has been fined $10,000 by the US Open after pointing his racket at an official like a rifle.
Mike Bryan, alongside his brother Bob Bryan, beat Federico Delbonis and Roberto Carballes Baena 4-6, 7-5, 6-3 on Sunday to secure a place in the men’s doubles third round.
The gesture happened late in the second set when Bryan challenged a call on a shot from Delbonis which landed close to the baseline.
The ball was given in, but upon review, it was shown to have fallen out by a fraction of an inch.
As the screens around the court proved Bryan’s challenge to be correct, the 41-year-old raised his racket like the barrel of a rifle and pointed it at the line judge. He then pointed his finger at chair umpire Mariana Alves and shook his head, after which the Portuguese judge quickly handed him a code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct.
Bryan pleaded innocence, however Alves made clear what the violation was for, saying in the New York Times: “You did with your racket like it was a gun. I don’t think that was appropriate.”
The $10,000 fine Bryan received is the second highest at this summer’s U.S. Open so far, after Carla Suarez Navarro, who was fined $40,000 for “poor performance” after retiring one set into her tournament opener against Timea Babos.
Bryan’s gesture came one day after a mass shooting in the United States.
On Saturday, a 36-year-old man killed seven people and injured 22 more as he opened fire on bystanders along a 15-mile stretch between the cities of Midland and Odessa in Texas, according to the New York Times.
The massacre on Saturday was the 38th mass killing by firearms on American soil this year.
Bryan apologized for the ill-timed gesture after the match, telling reporters: “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.”
Mike and Bob Bryan, a wildly successful doubles partnership, take on fellow Americans Jake Sock and Jackson Withrow in the round of 16 on Monday.
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