Terence Atmane avoided default but not massive fine after French Open controversy

The French Open announces a big fine for Atmane, who hit a spectator with the ball.

by Dzevad Mesic
Terence Atmane avoided default but not massive fine after French Open controversy
© Getty Images Sport - Julian Finney

Rising French star Terence Atmane may have missed out on being disqualified from his French Open first-round match but he didn't avoid receiving the biggest fine issued at Roland Garros so far. 

On Sunday, 22-year-old wildcard Atmane launched the ball in the stands in a moment of frustration - which ended up hitting a spectator. The women spectator that was hit by Atmane's ball didn't panic but she was seen rubbing her knee. 

The lady hit by Terence Atmane on Court 12
The lady hit by Terence Atmane on Court 12© @josemorgado X account

Ofner instantly started pointing out that Atmane's action warranted a default but after 15 minutes of deliberation between the chair umpire, supervisor, the spectator and Atmane, the French tennis player avoided a disqualification. The incident happened while Ofner was 4-1 up in the fourth set and Atmane was down by a double break.

After the incident, Ofner went on to close out the fourth set and then also win the fifth set to complete a big 3-6 4-6 7-6 (2) 6-2 7-5 comeback win.

While Ofner won and the justice was probably served that way, some still weren't happy and argued that it was absolute nonsense that Atmane avoided a clear disqualification. Also, some went a bit step further and claimed that Atmane avoided a disqualification "only because he was a French playing at the French Open."

Atmane avoids a disqualification but not a fine 

On Friday, the French Open announced a hefty fine for Atmane, who will have to pay nearly one quarter of his prize money - the Frenchman earned $80k for his first-round appearance but he will also have to give $25k to pay his fine. 

unknown© Getty Images Sport - Dan Istitene

After receiving criticism and backlash, Atmane issued a statement the following day. 

"Of course the first reflex would have been to go and apologize but so shocked and disoriented by my action that no reaction came to my mind... Like a blackout or my brain switch off and I don't think about anything anymore," Atmane wrote in a message posted on his Instagram Story the following day.

In the same message, Atmane said he was hoping the spectator would forgive him and said he would accept any fine.

French Open