Player stripped of Roland Garros prize money claims 'discrimination'

Paris (AFP) –


Anna Tatishvili, who was stripped of her entire 46,000-euro ($52,000) prize money at Roland Garros for "not playing at a professional standard", has appealed the punishment, claiming she is the victim of "discrimination".

Tatishvili returned to competition at the French Open last month following a 31-month absence due to a serious ankle injury and multiple surgeries.

Appearing in Paris with a protected ranking, she lost her first-round match to Greece's 33rd-ranked Maria Sakkari, 6-0, 6-1 in just 55 minutes.

Officials then stripped her of her prize money, claiming Tatishvili failed to play at a "professional standard".

Tatishvili believes she has been treated unfairly as a male player who competed in qualifying at the French Open, also under a protected ranking, lost in 43 minutes but 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," said 29-year-old Georgia-born Tatishvili.

"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."

Although Tatishvili didn't name the male player to whom she was referring, Israel's Amir Weintraub lost 6-3, 6-1 to Lukas Rosol in the first round of qualifying in a match which was over in 43 minutes.

It was unranked Weintraub's first match since losing in the opening round of qualifying at the 2017 Australian Open.