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Tarango Fined Record $15,500

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Jeff Tarango of Manhattan Beach, who walked off the court in protest of the officiating during his third-round match on Saturday, was fined $15,500 Monday. It was the biggest fine ever imposed at Wimbledon.

The fines were $10,000 for verbal abuse of the chair umpire, Bruno Rebeuh of France; $5,000 for failing to complete the match, and $500 for unsportsmanlike conduct, shouting “Oh, shut up!” to the crowd. During the match, Tarango had been warned for an audible obscenity but the violation was changed to unsportsmanlike conduct.

Tarango later accused Rebeuh of showing favoritism to some players, and an investigation into Tarango’s accusations is under way. But Wimbledon officials showed their feelings about the matter when they scheduled Rebeuh to preside over the day’s biggest match on Centre Court, the Pete Sampras-Greg Rusedski match.

Rebeuh’s report of the incident to the referee supervisor was also released Monday. Rebeuh wrote that on his way back to the referee’s room, Benedicte Tarango, Jeff’s wife, “Walked up behind me, pinched and twisted my arm and then slapped my face twice and said, ‘Anyway, I will see you again.’ ”

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In another surprise appearance, Tarango read a statement Monday that said, in part, “My wife and I had to stand alone and defend ourselves against overwhelming pressures. We both feel that what we have done was what we were forced to do in desperate moments. We are taking a stance on this issue and, as a result, paying a huge price.”

Tarango said he regretted naming Marc Rosset as having received favoritism from Rebeuh. Rosset was not involved in anything untoward, Tarango said.


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