Yearender: A controversial year in tennis

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The year started with match-fixing allegations hitting the Australian Open. A report by BuzzFeed News and the BBC claimed that 16 players who have been inside the top 50, including one grand slam singles winner, "have repeatedly been reported for losing games when highly suspicious bets have been placed against them."
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Five-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1, Maria Sharapova, admitted failing a drug test during the Australian Open. Following the revelation, Sharapova was banned for two years by ITF, which was later reduced to 15 months by CAS. Sharapova's confession sent shockwaves around the world.
2/9
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Indian Wells CEO Raymond Moore made controversial statements at the end of the tournament. Commenting on WTA, Moore said: "...they ride on the coattails of the men. If I were a lady player, I'd go down every night on my knees and thank God that Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal were born, because they have carried the sport." Even though Moore quickly apologised and ATP condemned Moore's statements, Serena Williams reacted by saying: "You know, there’s only one way to interpret that. Get on your knees, which is offensive enough, and thank a man, which is not—we, as women, have come a long way. We shouldn’t have to drop to our knees at any point." She went on to remind everyone that the tickets for US Open 2015 women's final were sold out much before the men's.
3/9
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This year's Wimbledon didn't start well for Nike. Nike's outfit for women was heavily criticised by players. The “lingerie” dress frequently flew up above the waist, and some fans went to label it “Marilyn Monroe”. Judy Murray also spoke against it. Germany's Sabine Lisicki refused to wear the dress because it was too revealing for her.
4/9
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Argentina's Pablo Cuevas was fined $9000 for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’ at Wimbledon when he threatened to urinate at the courtside after being denied a bathroom break by the umpire during the fifth set of their third round match against Adil Shamasdin and Jonathan Marray. He was playing alongside Spain’s Marcel Granollers. Cuevas and Granollers staged a sit-down protest following a code of violation for furiously smashing a ball into the crowd. Cuevas's partner, Granollers, had to pay $7500.
5/9
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Serena Williams may have won the Wimbledon, but there was a moment when she had threatened to sue the umpire. During her match against Svetlana Kuznetsova, Serena complained of slipping and falling when it started raining. She went on: “Why don’t they just close the roof? If I get hurt, I’m gonna sue.” However, she took back her word and later on said: “I have no plans, no future of suing Wimbledon. Let’s get serious. That’s not what I do. That’s not what I am." But, she was not the only player to complain about the rain and wet grass. Gilles Simon also threatened to sue Wimbledon. He said: "I don't want to play, when it's raining, on grass. That's it. If I play and get injured, I will sue you and you will pay."
6/9
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Bernard Tomic had an eventful year. First at Madrid Open, Tomic used his racquet-handle to return on match point against Fabio Fognini. After the match he said: "I don’t care about that match point. Would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10 million?" At Wimbledon, he made headlines for using the word "retard" during his second round match way too many times. He later on apologised. At the US Open, he went on a foul-mouthed rant against a spectator during his first-round loss. Tomic was also involved in a spat with countrymen, Nick Kyrgios. The former claimed Kyrgios faked illness to avoid playing Davis Cup tie against US. He was also involved in a spat with Australian Olympic team chief.
7/9
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In recent years, Nick Kyrgios has been the poster boy of controversy in tennis. The year 2016 was no different for him. At the Australian Open, he was fined $4370 for swearing. He was caught making a phone call during a mixed doubles match. Not only Bernard Tomic, but Kyrgios was also involved in a showdown with the Australian Olympic team chief, Kitty Chiller. Chiller had Kyrgios and Tomic on notice over their conduct in May. In reply, Kyrgios refused to play in Rio and went on to question Chiller’s performance in the pentathlon at 2000 Sydney Games. At French Open and Wimbledon, Kyrgios was again fined $6200 and $8690 respectively for swearing. During Shanghai Masters, he was handed suspension and fined $32,900 on top of the earlier fines of $13,127 fine for lack of effort, $6563 for verbal abuse of a spectator and $1969 for unsportsmanlike conduct.
8/9
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However, the highlight of the year has been the pay gap between men and women. It started with the controversial remark by Raymond Moore. Novak Djokovic instigated the issue when he said that "men should fight for more because the stats are showing that we have much more spectators for the men's tennis matches." Serena, in response, said: "If I have a daughter who plays tennis and also have a son that plays tennis, I wouldn't say that my son deserves more because he is a man. If they both started at three years old I would say they both deserve the same amount of money." Even Andy Murray was disappointed with Djokovic's comments. Serena went on to write an open letter on the pay gap. She wrote: "...when the subject of equal pay comes up, it frustrates me because I know firsthand that I, like you, have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts. I would never want my daughter to be paid less than my son for the same work. Nor would you."
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