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Ex-tennis player Andrew Castle unfazed by spate of Wimbledon fines

The former British number one was himself sanctioned during his playing days for protesting against the poll tax.

Andrew Castle (Ian West/PA)
Andrew Castle (Ian West/PA)

Former British number one Andrew Castle has revealed he was once the most fined tennis player in the sport for using a match as a platform to protest against the poll tax.

This championships in on course to see a record level of fines dished out, with the total for the first week standing at 106, 400 US dollars (£84,700).

This week Serena Williams has already clocked up a 10,000 US dollars (£7,900) fine for damaging a court, while Italy’s Fabio Fognini was handed 3,000 US dollars (£2,300) for saying a bomb should explode at Wimbledon.

But 55-year-old Castle, who has a show on LBC, said he did not think behaviour in the sport was getting worse.

“It’s just we here about it more now. I was once the most fined person in tennis,” he said.

“I got done for putting a sign up on my chair at a national championships that said ‘No to the poll tax’.”

The stunt at the National Tennis Championships in Telford in 1990 cost Castle his £9,000 winnings and plus an extra £2,400 fine on top.

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Andrew Castle during his playing days (PA)

Castle said: “I got fined and banned for that, that was perhaps was not my finest moment but I think I would probably do it again.

“I had a bad year, I was getting very cross about the whole thing.”

Whilst unrepentant, Castle is still annoyed that Andre Agassi was fined less for spitting at an umpire than he was for his poll tax protest.

“I still look back on that and think ‘how did that happen?’ I must have been bad back then,” he said.

Referring to this year’s antics from Australian’s Bernard Tomic and Nick Kyrgios, Castle joked: “If you talk about those two I’m not even in the premier league.”

Tomic lost 58,500 US dollars (£46,300) prize money for lack of effort in his first round performance, while Kyrgios is being investigated for his comments to the umpire during is defeat to Rafael Nadal.

“In one or two isolated incident those guys are world class at what they do – Tomic didn’t try and Kyrgios loses it every time he plays.”

PA

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