Tennis star fined $10,000 for rifle gesture toward US Open official

Tennis star fined $10,000 for rifle gesture toward US Open official

American tennis player, Mike Bryan, has been issued a fine of $10,000 for pointing his racket like a rifle towards an official at the US Open in New York City on Saturday.

The doubles player's gesture, which was caught on camera, came after a string of mass shootings in the US - the most recent occurring on the day of the match, in West Texas, where 36-year-old Seth Ator opened fire - killing seven and wounding 22 others.

Bryan was in the middle of a doubles match with his brother, Bob Bryan, when he used his racket to make the gesture. The 41-year-old appeared to be frustrated when he pretended to "shoot" the official. The incident occurred after a challenge overturned a move which initially didn't favour his team.

Watch a clip of the incident below: 

The US Tennis Association proceeded to fine Bryan $10,000.

In a statement released after the fact, US Tennis Association spokesman, Brendan McIntyre said "We thought it warranted that amount."

Bryan has since apologised for the move, saying that he was sorry for "for any offence" caused, and claimed that it was meant to be "playful".

"We won the point and the gesture was meant to be playful," he said. "But given the recent news and political climate I understand how my gesture could be viewed as insensitive. I promise that I will never do anything like this again."

mike bryan Credit: Getty

The shooting in West Texas is the 25th mass killing the US has faced so far this year. According to the Associated Press' mass murder database, this matches the number in all of 2018. The database tracks homicides where four or more people have died, not including the perpetrator.

The Bryans went onto win the match:  4-6, 7-5, 6-3, and are due to play in the round of 16 today against Jackson Withrow and Jack Sock.