Men’s tennis world number three Alexander Zverev was kicked out of the ATP 500 tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, for “unsportsmanlike conduct” after his doubles match.
- Zverev came perilously close to hitting umpire Alessandro Germani
- The angry outburst could earn him more sanctions from the men’s governing body
- Zverev was defending champion in Acapulco
Germany’s Zverev came perilously close to hitting umpire Alessandro Germani following his doubles loss alongside Brazilian tennis player Marcelo Melo.
He repeatedly assaulted the umpire’s chair with his racquet after a 6-2, 4-6, (10-6) defeat to the British-Finn pair of Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara.
Zverev struck the umpire’s chair three times, sat for a moment, then got back up and yelled at the umpire that he “destroyed the whole f***ing match” and struck the chair once more with his racket as the umpire climbed down.
Minutes earlier, Zverev had received a code violation after yelling and swearing in protest of a shot that was ruled in, setting up match point.
Glasspool then ended the match with an ace past Zverev. The men’s tour were not impressed and expelled Zverev from the tournament where he was defending champion.
“Due to unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of his doubles match on Tuesday night, Alexander Zverev has been withdrawn from the tournament in Acapulco,” the ATP said in a statement.
Zverev’s team did not immediately respond to an emailed request for comment.
Zverev, the Olympic gold medallist, had earlier completed a first-round singles win over American Jenson Brooksby at 4.55 am local time on Tuesday, the latest ever finish for a professional tennis match.
Zverev was scheduled to meet fellow German Peter Gojowczyk in the second round. The veteran will now get a walkover into the quarter-finals.
Zverev’s angry outburst could earn him more sanctions from the men’s governing body.
His exit from the tournament follows several high-profile defaults in recent years.
Novak Djokovic did not take part in this year’s Australian Open due to his deportation saga, while he was booted out of the 2020 US Open in the fourth round.
The world No.1 hit a tennis ball into a lineswoman and, following minutes of discussions between officials, was sent packing.
In 2019, after an initial fine of $US113,000 ($167,000) Australia’s Nick Kyrgios was handed a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of $25,000 for “aggravated behaviour” by the ATP following an internal investigation into his behaviour at the Cincinnati Masters.