Google Down the Line!: UPDATE: SMACKDOWN: Anastasia Rodionova gets defaulted from her match

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

UPDATE: SMACKDOWN: Anastasia Rodionova gets defaulted from her match

(images courtesy of AP Photos)

Russian Anastasia Rodionova was defaulted from her 1st round match against Angelique Kerber of Germany at the Western & Southern Financial Group Women's Open. According to officials she smacked a ball towards fans that were rooting for Kerber in a display of frustration.

She is only the second player ever to be defaulted from a WTA main draw tournament. The first was Irina Spirlea, who was disqualified in 1996 at Palermo for directing abusive language at an official.

BONUS: Spirlea gained notoriety in another controversial tennis match involving a current Grand Slam champ and featuring unsportsmanlike conduct. Does anyone know what that match was? Tell us!

UPDATE 7/19/07: The Enquirer, a Cincinnati publication, reports a fan who was in the stands and involved in the verbal exchanges with Rodionova emailed the pub and said, "... We, like the rest of the people in the stands, were calling to the referee to warn her rather than have a defaulted match." She goes on to say, "At one point (Rodionova) approached us and asked, 'Do you want the ball? Come down here and play.' I responded, 'No, Thank you.' It was after loosing (sic) the 2nd set that she turned and slammed the tennis ball into the backstop below where we were sitting. I believe she had no intentions of hitting us but just wanted to scare us."

Rodionova has responded by saying, "That's wrong," she said. "I did not say that, and I did not try to hit anyone. I just let out my frustration."

She was fined $5,000 by the WTA Tour.

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