Jack Sock, last year's ASB Classic champion, appears unlikely to receive a six-figure appearance fee after his disinterested and disappointing first round exit this week.
Sock, the world No8, lost to German journeyman Peter Gojowczyk 6-3, 6-3 in just over an hour on Wednesday. It wasn't so much the result but the lack of heart in his performance which suggested he didn't want to be on centre court at Stanley St.
Top seeded Sock played one shot between his legs when well down on the scoreboard, and looked unfocused at other times.
Although he will receive the $11,904 as a second round loser, the Herald on Sunday understands ASB Classic tournament director Karl Budge may withhold his appearance fee, thought to be at least $100,000.
Should that come to pass, it signals just how frustrated organisers are with what they got from the highly-ranked American.
"Any commercial discussions, whether or not he gets an appearance fee, are between Jack and us," Budge told the Herald on Sunday. "We've had a long-standing relationship with Jack; we've supported him and he's supported us for a number of years. Like anything, when there's a difference of opinion you've got to have a conversation about it."
Video evidence is believed to have been comprised of instances where it appeared Sock did not give 100 per cent against Gojowczyk.
"I don't get involved in that process," Budge said. "If the tour thinks there's something untoward about his match that's up to Jack."
The Herald reported earlier this week that due to his on court performance, defensive nature and lack of explanation in the post-match press conference and blanking of agreed sponsor appearances, the two-time finalist is unlikely to be invited back to Auckland.
"That's up to Jack. It's a tournament he's always played well and set up his year. Jack now has a decision whether he wants to. We've got to be big boys and have a conversation. We're both two very proud people so I'm sure we'll have that conversation," said Budge.
Sock's lack of effort created an unwanted sideshow to an otherwise successful men's week which culminated with a quality final where Spain's Roberto Bautista Agut claimed his second ASB Classic title by defeating Juan Martin del Potro 6-1, 4-6, 7-5.
The only other complications came at the start of the week with the late withdrawals of fellow American Ryan Harrison and eighth seed Andrey Rublev.
Budge admitted they, too, were unlikely to be invited back.