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Alexander Zverev handed 'pathetic' probation by ATP for Acapulco outburst

Alexander Zverev has been put on 1-year probation by ATP for lashing out at the chair umpire during the Mexico Open but can still play at the Indian Wells, ironically.

Alexander Zverev has been handed a ban by the ATP for his Acapulco outburst

Alexander Zverev has been handed a ban by the ATP for his Acapulco outburst (Source: Reuters)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 8 March 2022 3:15 PM GMT

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Alexander Zverev was put on probation for one year by the ATP for violently hitting the chair umpire's stand repeatedly with his racket following a loss in doubles at the Mexico Open.

If Zverev receives a code violation that results in a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct or for "verbal or physical abuse of an official, opponent, spectator or any other person while on-court or on-site," he will be suspended from ATP events for eight weeks and fined an additional $25,000, the men's tennis tour announced.

Zverev, who is currently ranked No. 3 and was the runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Open, has until Friday to appeal the ruling of Miro Bratoev, the ATP senior vice president of rules and competition.

Bratoev conducted a review of what happened last month in Acapulco, Mexico, and determined that Zverev committed what is termed aggravated behaviour under the major offense section of the ATP rulebook. The ATP characterized the decision as issuing Zverev a fine and suspension that are being "withheld," unless his behaviour warrants the punishments.

The probation ends Feb. 22, 2023 — one year after the episode in Acapulco.

The 24-year-old German, who was the Mexico Open defending champion in singles, was kicked out of the tournament for yelling and cursing at official Alessandro Germani and violently striking the umpire's chair no fewer than four times.

Just before Zverev and partner Marcelo Melo finished losing the doubles match against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, Germani gave Zverev a code violation for yelling and swearing while arguing about an opponent's shot that was ruled in. That setup match point. And once the match was over, Zverev swatted the umpire's stand.

In Zverev's first competition since. he won two singles matches to help Germany beat Brazil in Davis Cup action this weekend. Zverev already has been fined $40,000 and forfeited more than $30,000 in prize money, along with all of the rankings points he earned at the Mexico Open.

The ATP said at the time Zverev was docked $20,000 each for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct, the maximum on-site penalty for each violation. In October, the ATP opened an investigation into domestic violation accusations from a former girlfriend of Zverev.

Serena Williams on the double standards

On the other hand, 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams was frank to admit the double standards in present-day professional tennis, related to gender still.

In an interview with CNN, Williams, a black athlete spoke on the Zverev issue and confessed that she would have probably been jailed had she done something remotely similar.

In her career, Williams has been embroiled in many an on-court controversy and has been in many heated arguments with umpires very infamously.

However, Zverev's probation by the ATP is far too lenient for an action like this and this decision of the tennis governing body about a white athlete is being called out by a large fraction of the tennis community.

In an interview with The Telegraph, former Wimbledon doubles champion and ex-ATP Vice President for Rules and Competition, Pam Shriver, also called this probation to be 'pathetic' as it doesn't really impose a ban on Zverev.

(With inputs from PTI)

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