NEW YORK, AUG. 31 -- Andre Agassi was fined $3,000 by the International Tennis Federation today for unsportsmanlike conduct, audible obscenities and spitting at a chair umpire. The fines appear to support the sentiments of many observers that Agassi should have been defaulted from his second-round match against Petr Korda.
The incident occurred in the second set of Agassi's 7-5, 5-7, 6-0, 6-4 victory over Korda Thursday night, when chair umpire Wayne McKewen overruled a line call in Korda's favor. Judging by a replay, Agassi first yelled an obscenity, then cursed McKewen. As he walked toward his chair on the changeover, he let fly a stream of saliva that struck McKewen's shoes. Agassi has denied using foul language, but admitted to spitting at McKewen, though not intentionally.
Under ITF rules, a player is given a warning, then a point penalty. A third misbehavior results in disqualification. Grand Slam supervisor Ken Farrar revoked a point penalty issued by McKewen against Agassi for spitting, feeling that McKewen may have "misread" the gesture. But the severity of the fines today indicated that Agassi was deemed guilty of three infractions by the ITF after review of the tape. In fact, Farrar said in a TV interview tonight that Agassi should have been defaulted.
Agassi's denials on the foul language charge were rather circuituous. He claimed he used the words "son of a bitch" with reference to himself, not McKewen, when the umpire warned him for the first audible obscenity.
"I did not call him that," Agassi said. "I tend to say things in half sentences. I said, 'I'd be a son of a bitch' if I said that."
Agassi has now sustained four fines this year worth $4,000.
Swedes Frozen Out
For the first time in 14 years there is not a single Swedish player left after two rounds. The last time this happened was 1974, when Bjorn Borg, the only Swede in the draw, lost in the second round. . . .
As if it wasn't enough that the men's top seed, Stefan Edberg, lost in the first round and women's third seed, Monica Seles, lost in the third round. The top-seeded men's doubles team of Rick Leach and Jim Pugh went down in the first round to Nelson Aerts and Danilo Marcelino Thursday, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (7-5). . . .
Vitas Gerulaitis issued something like an apology to Martina Navratilova on USA Network today. Navratilova had criticized Gerulaitis for his regular comments that women's tennis is boring. During Seles' upset at the hands of Linda Ferrando, Gerulaitis acknowledged the match was probably the most exciting of the tournament thus far.
"I hope Martina is listening," he said.
Married, With Victories
It appears marriage may make for better tennis. Consider this: Fifteen of the women in the original field of 128 are married. With the completion of the third round, three-quarters of the field has been eliminated but nearly half the married players remain. The blissful survivors are Zina Garrison, Laura Gildemeister, Leila Meskhi, Larisa Savchenko, Judith Wiesner and Manuela Maleeva-Fragniere.
Muster Feeling Fine
Thomas Muster, facing big fines and a suspension after this event, is playing as if it might be his last. Today the sixth-seeded Austrian beat Jaime Yzaga, 6-2, 6-2, 4-6, 5-7, 7-6, in four hours. That puts Muster, 22, into the fourth round; any further, he said, would be "a bonus." He is assured of pocketing $24,590, just under the amount he was fined this week by the Association of Tennis Professionals for defaulting from a recent tournament in Prague, when he left the court after one game of a first-round match. He is appealing the fine and suspension, and refuses to discuss the incident.
Just playing is an achievement, since he was lucky to avoid death 18 months ago in an automobile accident. Struck by a drunken driver while standing by his car after an upset victory that put him in the final of the Lipton International tournament at Key Biscayne, Fla., Muster suffered severe leg injuries.