Ivan Lendl, the third-ranked men's tennis player in the world, was charged yesterday with "conduct detrimental to professional tennis" by the Association of Tennis Professionals, which suspended him indefinitely and fined him $10,000 for withdrawing from one tournament to play in another.
A spokesman for the ATP said its directors recommended action when Lendl announced Monday he would not play in the World Team Cup in Duesseldorf, West Germany, next week, but would compete instead in the WCT Tournament of Champions in New York. ATP officials did not say when the suspension would begin.
Lendl's status for Wimbledon and the U.S. Open depends upon whether or not the Grand Prix tour chooses to honor the ATP's suspension. Bjorn Borg, five-time Wimbledon winner, already has said he would not play at Wimbledon because the Men's International Professional Tennis Council ruled he would have to play 10 Grand Prix events in 1982 or have to qualify for the events he chooses to enter.
There is no rule requiring a player to be an ATP member to compete on the Grand Prix circuit.
Neither Lendl, who is playing in a tournament in Madrid, nor his agent, Jerry Solomon, was available for comment yesterday.
Butch Buchholz, ATP executive director, said in a statement, "Players must sometimes withdraw from an event because of injuries, but to withdraw a week before one tournament to play in another does irreparable harm to the credibility of the sport."
Lendl had committed to the World Team Cup last November. Solomon sent a letter to Buchholz at that time, telling him, "Ivan hopes you'll feel free to take advantage of his early entry by using him to help promote the event."
Lendl, who would have played for the defending champion Czech team, was indeed heavily promoted for the tournament, which begins Monday.