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Australian Open 2018: Mischa Zverev fined 95% match fee after retiring in first round against Hyeon Chung

Melbourne: Mischa Zverev on Tuesday become the first player to be heavily fined for retiring from his first round match at the Australian Open under new rules aimed at limiting early injury withdrawals.

The German, seeded 32, withdrew from his opening match with South Korea's Hyeon Chung last week during the second set and has been fined $45,000 for what is termed "a poor first round performance."

FILE - In this Jan. 24, 2017 file photo Germany's Mischa Zverev makes a backhand return to Switzerland's Roger Federer during their quarterfinal at the Australian Open tennis championships in Melbourne, Australia. Zverev was assessed a fine of US$45,000 at the Australian Open on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2018, for a poor performance in his first-round match against South Korea's Chung Hyeon, the largest penalty ever assessed to an individual for an on-site transgression at a Grand Slam tournament.(AP Photo/Dita Alangkara, File)

File photo of Mischa Zverev. AP

That was almost all of his prize money of around $47,000.

Under the new rules "any player who competes in the first round main draw singles and retires or performs below professional standards, may now be subject to a fine up to (the equivalent) first round prize money in 2018".

With tens of thousands of dollars at stake just for playing in round one, early injury pull-outs have often caused suspicion at Grand Slams, particularly at last year's Wimbledon.

Eight players retired from the opening round at the All-England Club, including the opponents of Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic during the second sets of their matches on centre court.

It sparked the new Grand Slam rules by the International Tennis Federation, being used for the first time in Melbourne.

Players are now able to claim 50 percent of their prize money if they pull out before their first match, an incentive designed to allow someone else to play instead.

Their replacement — a 'lucky loser' from the qualifying tournament — gets the other 50 percent.

Updated Date: Jan 23, 2018 12:23 PM

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