Hewitt, Klein fined for code violation (Australian Open Diary)

January 22nd, 2009 - 9:57 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 22 (IANS) Local favourites Lleyton Hewitt and Brydan Klein list among a host of players to be slapped with penalty at Australian Open.Hewitt was docked $2,290 for verbal abuse during a five-set loss to Chilean 13th seed Fernando Gonzalez Tuesday.

And Klein did nothing to dispel his firebrand reputation after being hit with a $1,527 penalty for audible abuse during his second-round loss to Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka.

But Russian Dmitry Tursunov has been clobbered with the heaviest fine. Regarded as one of the most humorous characters on tour, 29th seed Tursunov did not see the funny side of a first-round exit against Italian Flavio Cipolla.

Tursunov was fined $3,820 for verbal abuse and $763 for racquet abuse.

Cypriot Marcos Baghdatis was another high-profile competitor to draw the wrath of officials and was fined $763 for racquet abuse.

The same penalty was levelled at Serb Janko Tipsarevic after his rowdy battle with Marin Cilic, of Croatia.

Argentine David Nalbandian was also hit with a $763 fine.

Others to fall foul of officials are Giancarlo Petrazzuolo, Scoville Jenkins, Amer Delic, Gianluca Naso, Dudi Sela and Xavier Malisse. They were all fined $381 for code of conduct violations for either ball abuse, racquet abuse or verbal abuse.

Former World No.1 Marat Safin, who faces a third round Australian Open clash with Roger Federer, has claimed the Swiss champion had choked in the pair’s last meeting in Australian Open semi-final in 2005.

Safin won that match 5-7, 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (8-6), 9-7 after Federer held a match point before advancing to the centenary Open crown with victory against Hewitt.

The Russian says Federer should have won the match - and probably the title.

“I was lucky that he (Federer) got a little bit scared probably in the fifth set and he didn’t go for a lot of shots that he should have,” said Safin.

“I decided that it was the chance for me to win that match. Just had to be strong and go for it. He didn’t go for the shot that he should have gone, and he was much closer to winning that fifth set than me. But I guess I was more aggressive than him.”

In his last season on tour before retirement, former World No. 1 and US Open winner Safin carries a 2-9 record into his next clash with Federer - but no fear.

“I’m looking forward,” Safin said. “I have nothing to worry about. I’m going to play my match. We know each other pretty well.

“Unfortunately, I didn’t win a lot of matches against him. It’s another chance.”


Sartorial dilemma for Nadal

Rafael Nadal’s attire is getting more attention than his tennis. After years of showing off his impressive muscles with a sleeveless shirt, the man from Manacor is adopting a more traditional look this year, one more in keeping with his new position as the World No. 1.

This year, Nadal is wearing a demure t-shirt top - one with sleeves - but to compensate for the upper-body cover up, he is now sporting shorter shorts.

This change of look was not without its problems. After years of playing in a singlet, Nadal simply could not get used to playing with sleeves - and he surely would not like to feel restricted while facing the best players in the world.

He was supposed to wear the new outfit for the first time at last year’s US Open, but Nadal was still not happy. He was scheduled to wear the new kit at the Madrid Masters, but still Nadal did not feel right.

And just to make matters worse, the world No. 1 is one of the most superstitious players on the circuit, and not easily disposed to trying anything new while he is on a winning run.

“For sure, when you have a change, some people like, other people don’t like,” Nadal explained. “Not everybody like the sleeveless. But, anyway, is a change. But I feel good like this. Important thing in the end is not the clothes; is the ball and racquet and play well.”

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