American tennis player Christian Harrison took to social media to explain why he didn't want to wear a mask for his on-court interview after a match at the Delray Beach Open. Harrison, ranked at No. 789 in the world, handed a straight-set defeat to world No.
101 Gianluca Mager as he beat the Italian 7-6 (2) 6-4. Harrison, who is making his maiden appearance at the Delray Beach Open, made his maiden ATP semifinal following a win over Mager. After one of the biggest wins of his career, Harrison declined to do a mandatory on-court interview over wearing a mask.
After the match, the ATP fined Harrison $3,000 for declining to meet mandatory duties. "After my second round match I chose not to do my post match interview due to wearing a mask. It’s not healthy to wear a mask in the hot sun for more time than absolutely necessary after a tough match," Harrison explained in an Instagram post after the $3,000 fine was announced.
"I was given the impression it was optional.
I wasn’t told I would be fined.
That night I was told it is a requirement for TV matches and I would be fined."
Harrison to appeal the fine
Harrison, a former world No.
198, plans to appeal the fine and he believes he has a good case. "When I spoke to the supervisor the following morning, I was told since I wasn’t notified that it was mandatory I could appeal the fine and it would be taken away.
Unless something changes now I still believe that to be true," Harrison added. Harrison didn't do his on-court interview but accepted to do post-match interview later on. According to Harrison, he did the interview without a mask.
"I was required to do a sit down interview after the match with the same person which I agreed to and I did not have to wear a mask for it," Harrison claimed. The American acknowledged that he doesn't support "masking people for the sake of it for TV."
"It’s not about safety to wear mask for TV to talk to a microphone with no one around.
Playing the tournaments I’ll follow whatever is required even if I don’t agree with it.
I don’t support masking people for the sake of it for TV," Harrison concluded. It remains to be seen if Harrison will win his appeal against the ATP fine.