UK: Professional Tennis Player Anna Tatishvili Appeals French Open Sanction
Last Updated: 2 July 2019

Professional tennis player Anna Tatishvili today appealed the Grand Slam Board's unprecedented sanction in connection with her first-round match at the 2019 French Open tennis tournament.

Ms. Tatishvili began her professional tennis career at age 15, and in 2012 reached a career-high world singles ranking of No. 50 and No. 59 in doubles. Ms. Tatishvili returned to professional competition at the 2019 French Open following a 31-month absence due to a serious ankle injury, multiple unsuccessful surgeries, and extensive rehabilitation. Ms. Tatishvili was eligible to compete at the French Open under a WTA Special Ranking Rule that "allows players who are sidelined with a long-term injury with the ability to return to competition to use their ranking at the time of the start of their absence."

On May 28, Ms. Tatishvili lost her first round match at the French Open 6-0, 6-1 against player Maria Sakkari —the No. 30 ranked women's singles player in the world. Citing a "First Round Performance Rule" adopted in 2018 that requires players coming back from injury or disability to play "at a professional standard," Grand Slam officials fined Ms. Tatishvili the entirety of her first round prize money on the grounds that: (1) she competed at the French Open with a Protected Ranking; (2) she had not previously played a tournament since October 2017; and (3) the match lasted 55 minutes.  

Notably, a male player who also competed in the qualifying round at the 2019 French Open under a "Protected Ranking" had not previously played in a tournament since January 2017, and lost his match in 43 minutes, was not cited for a Code Violation and was not sanctioned.  

"Today, I appealed the unfair and discriminatory sanction imposed on me by the Grand Slam Board following my first-round match at the French Open. This was my first match played in nearly three years, after multiple ankle surgeries and months of intense rehabilitation. I am proud of my performance against an outstanding opponent. I hold myself to the highest professional standards, and will do everything in my power to overturn this unprecedented sanction and restore my name," said Ms. Tatishvili.

The sanction against Ms. Tatishvili represents the first time that a professional tennis player has been fined for allegedly failing to play to a "professional standard" after completing their first round match.

The First Round Performance Rule does not define the term "professional standard," nor does it provide any guidance as to what it means to play to a "professional standard," where that standard comes from, or what factors or criteria are to be considered in assessing whether the player performed to the required "professional standard." Grand Slam officials also refused to explain to Ms. Tatishvili why they believed her performance fell below their "professional standard." Whatever "professional standard" may have been applied, Anna's performance on the court met the level expected of all tennis professionals. This is confirmed by the opinions of multiple tennis industry professionals, as well as statistical analysis provided by Scott Carr and Michal Malkiewicz at Ankura Consulting Group (acting on a pro bono basis).

"Anna has dedicated 20 years of her life to tennis with professionalism and fierce resolve. She was wrongly labeled as 'unprofessional' when she decided she was ready to return to competition, even though she was eligible to compete and was cleared for competition by French Open doctors," said Javier Rubinstein, a Kirkland & Ellis international dispute resolution partner, who represents Ms. Tatishvili on a pro bono basis. "This sanction violated Anna's rights as a professional athlete. We will do what is necessary to vindicate those rights and restore the reputation for excellence and integrity that Anna has built throughout her career."

Mr. Rubinstein continued, "If left to stand, the sanction imposed here also represents a dangerous precedent for the sport of tennis, sending the untenable message that a player's performance can and should be judged solely on the basis of the match's duration or the final score, while unfairly deterring players who are returning to competition from injury or disability from competing in Grand Slam tournaments."

In her appeal, Ms. Tatishvili requests that the Grand Slam Board vacate the Code Violation and imposed sanction in their entirety. The appeal will be heard by the Director of the Grand Slam Board.

The appeal document is available here.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

 
In association with
Press Releases from this Firm
Recent Content from this Firm
By Daniel Wolf, P.C.
By Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
By Marcus Thompson, Andrew Butel, Harkiran Hothi, Satnam Tumani, Sarah Klein, Patrick Navein, Jack Davies
By Lisa Cawley, Prem Mohan, Adam Skinner, Romin Dabir, Sarah J. I. Thompson, Philip McEachen, Colin Sharpsmith, Revathi Raghavan
By Norm Champ, P.C., Scott A. Moehrke, P.C., Kevin R. Bettsteller, Michael Chu, Matthew Cohen, Marian Fowler, Nicholas A. Hemmingsen, Alpa Patel, Aaron J. Schlaphoff,P.C., Christopher J. Scully, Robert H. Sutton, Ryan P. Swan, Jamie Lynn Walter, P.C., Josh Westerholm, Jaime Doninger Schechter, Matthew Colman, John Lynn, Sarah Schaedler
By Norm Champ, P.C., Scott A. Moehrke, P.C., Kevin R. Bettsteller, Michael Chu, Matthew Cohen, Marian Fowler, Nicholas A. Hemmingsen, Alpa Patel, Jaime Doninger Schechter, Aaron J. Schlaphoff,P.C., Christopher J. Scully, Robert H. Sutton, Ryan P. Swan, Jamie Lynn Walter, P.C., Josh Westerholm
By Oded Schein
By Mario Mancuso, Anthony Rapa, Sanjay Mullick, Abigail E. Cotterill
By Brooksany Barrowes, Robert S. Fleishman, Nicholas Gladd, Andrew Stuyvenberg
By Kirkland & Ellis International LLP
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions