To summarize: The Frenchman was fined $2,500 for making a derogatory comment to a fan during a first-round victory over Ernests Gulbis. Little was known about the incident, other than an eyewitness report from a respected journalist.
The New York Times' Ben Rothenberg advanced the tale on Tuesday with a blog post that includes quotes from the victim of Llodra's racial taunts and the Frenchman's lack of remorse in later interviews. Go read the whole thing.
Among the revelations:
• Llodra's original taunt was in French and translated to "Chinese whore."
• During an interview with the Chinese-language site, SINA.com, Llodra clarified that his remarks weren't directed at China. "I love Chinese," he said. "I can totally make love with a Chinese girl."
• The woman at the center of the incident thinks, somewhat arbitrarily, that Llodra should be suspended for three tournaments.
The $2,500 fine from the ATP is embarrassing. Will they admit their mistake or compound it by remaining silent and spineless? This is when tennis hides behind its low American profile too much. Can you imagine the outrage if an NBA player said the same thing to a fan with courtside seats?
One thing is for certain: Llodra shouldn't be expecting an Arthur Ashe Humanitarian Award any time soon.
- Michael Llodra