We are pleased to announce that the Grand Slam Board has reversed its decision to sanction Anna Tatishvili in connection with her first-round match at the 2019 French Open tennis tournament.
In a letter to Ms. Tatishvili, the Board's Director yesterday acknowledges that this was "the first [First Round Performance Rule] determination where the player completed the match," making it "more difficult – though no less critical – to establish what constitutes a 'professional standard'." Based on a "heightened point-by-point scrutiny of the entire match," the Director found that "[d]espite the score line, it is clear that you — even confirmed by your in-form opponent — were competing professionally from the first to the very last point." The Director has therefore upheld Anna's appeal, finding that the sanction imposed "must be reversed and the prize money sanction returned to you."
Statement from Anna Tatishvili: "I am happy that the Grand Slam Board has reversed its sanctioning decision, that the question of my performance at the French Open has now been settled, and that it's definitively confirmed that I played to the best of my ability. I love this sport, and after years battling injury, I'm excited to be back in competition and getting stronger every day. I'm also grateful to the many people who stood with me during my appeal, both inside and outside of the tennis community, including my legal team at Kirkland & Ellis. Justice has been served, and now I can move on with my tennis career."
Statement from Javier Rubinstein, a Kirkland & Ellis international dispute resolution partner, who represents Ms. Tatishvili: "We appreciate the Grand Slam Board's thoughtful and thorough review of Anna's case. The determination that completed matches require heightened scrutiny, and that a professional tennis player's performance cannot be judged by isolated statistics, hopefully will lead to a more reliable and consistent application of the First Round Performance Rule. We look forward to cheering Anna on as she continues with her professional tennis career."
More information on Anna's case and appeal is available in our press release from June 2019.