German Mischa Zverev has been slapped with a grand slam-record $56,165 fine for an unprofessional first-round performance at the Australian Open.
Zverev's gamble to try and compete at Melboure Park, despite nursing a viral illness, has backfired spectacularly.
The world No. 35's trip down under for the summer of tennis has now actually cost him money when flights, accommodation and coaching staff are taken into account.
Zverev retired 48 minutes into his first round match while trailing Korean Hyeon Chung 6-2 4-1 at Melbourne Park last Tuesday night.
He is the first victim of a new rule introduced to combat the spate of first-round retirements that have plagued the majors in recent years.
Tennis's Grand Slam Board introduced the new rule in November after a number of slams were plagued by early player withdrawals.
"Any player who competes in the first round main draw singles and retires or performs below professional standards, may now be subject to a fine up to (the equivalent) first round prize money in 2018," the new rule states.
In a black eye for tennis, seven players failed to see out their opening matches at Wimbledon last year, including the respective opponents of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer in back-to-back matches on the sport's most famous centre court.
While not only disappointing ticket holders, television networks were short- changed of hours of premium match play.
The new rule enables players unfit to compete at grand slams to collect half their prize money while offering a lower-ranked rival the chance to take a prized place in the main draw.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley says the fact four players opted to withdrew before the season-opening slam kicked off, with Zverev was the only first-round retirement, provided proof the new rule has had the desired result. Zverev's fine represents almost all of his $60,000 prize money for losing in the first round.
It also puts Bernard Tomic's $US15,000 ($A18,720) fine for saying he was "a little bit bored" during his first-round loss to Zverev at Wimbledon last year in the shade.
Zverev's punishment also comes a year after the crafty serve-volleyer recorded the biggest win of his career, upsetting then-world No.1
Andy Murray in the third round before falling to Federer in the quarter-finals. The 30-year-old is expected to join his fourth-ranked brother Alexander in leading Germany into Davis Cup battle against Australia in next month's first- round tie in Brisbane.
The record fine had divided tennis commentators, however, most appeared to applaud the game for taking action against first round no-shows.