Alexander Zverev, the world No 3, has been ejected from the Mexican Open and is expected to face serious repercussions after he violently attacked the umpire’s chair with his racket during his doubles match.
Zverev, 24, will almost certainly face a fine and even a suspension for his shocking actions on Wednesday, which saw him physically and verbally abuse umpire Alessandro Germai, and the tournament has already withdrawn him from the singles.
“Due to unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of his doubles match on Tuesday night, Alexander Zverev has been withdrawn from the tournament in Acapulco,” a short statement from the tournament organisers read.
Playing in the first round of the doubles draw in Acapulco, Zverev argued with Italian Germani over a line call late in the deciding set tiebreak, saying, “look where the ball bounced, 8-6 in the tiebreak, for f—‘s sake. It’s f—– your line. You’re a f—— idiot”.
When he and partner Marcelo Melo of Brazil eventually lost the match to Briton Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara of Finland shortly afterwards, losing the tie break 10-6, Zverev immediately hit out at the umpire again – but this time physically.
Instead of shaking the umpire’s hand at the end of the match, he approached the chair and struck it with his racket three times. The visibly shaken Germani flinched as the racket almost struck him on the foot, but even as he moved to get down from his chair Zverev returned to thump it a fourth time.
“You f—— destroyed the whole f—— match,” he shouted at the Italian, as the crowd booed. “The whole match.”
Zverev’s first round match made history on Tuesday for the latest ever finish for a match on the ATP Tour, when he finally clinched the victory over Jenson Brooksby at 4.55am local time, and was playing in doubles less than 24 hours after that overnight match.
But his late-night efforts in the singles turned out to be for nothing, as he was thrown out of the tournament for his shocking actions, and more formal repercussions are expected to be handed out by the ATP.
Zverev is currently under investigation by the ATP following allegations of domestic abuse by ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova, which include violent physical abuse. He has denied all allegations.