Fast-rising Bulgarian prospect Grigor Dimitrov has been fined €2000 and could face further punishment after attacking an umpire at last week's Challenger event in Helsinki.
Following his semifinal defeat to Ricardas Berankis, Dimitrov is reported to have approached umpire Daniel Infanger away from the court before shoving the official in the chest with both hands.
According to Finnish newspaper Helsingin Sanomat, an irate Dimitrov also swore at Infanger until an Italian colleague of the umpire separated the pair.
The newspaper also reports tournament director Carmelo di Dio as saying that the ATP could yet impose a more severe punishment on the player once the incident has been further investigated.
President of the Finnish umpire's association, Antti Aine, was harshly critical of Dimitrov after witnessing the altercation himself.
"The immunity of the umpire is a sacred thing in sports," said Aine. "You can disagree with calls but this was way out of line."
A suspension could potentially jeopardise Dimitrov’s place in January’s Australian Open with the player’s current ranking of No. 106 enough to earn him direct entry.
As a junior Dimitrov won both the Wimbledon and US Open, but he may yet have to wait a bit longer for his maiden assault on the main draw of a professional slam.
It is a disappointing end to the season for Dimitrov, who has enjoyed a huge surge up the rankings since hooking up with Australian coach Pete McNamara in June this year.
Since then, the 19 year old has won three titles on the Challenger tour and risen over 250 places to become the highest ranked teenager in men’s tennis, a full 50 spots ahead of Canadian Milos Raonic.
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