AP – Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Alexander Zverev was put on probation for one year by the ATP on Monday 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 USD25,000, the men’s tennis tour announced.
Zverev, who is currently ranked number three, has until Friday to appeal the ruling of ATP Senior Vice President of Rules and Competition Miro Bratoev. Bratoev conducted a review of what happened last month, and determined that Zverev committed what is termed aggravated behaviour under the major offence section of the ATP rulebook.
The ATP characterised the decision as issuing Zverev a fine and suspension that are being “withheld”, unless his behaviour warrants the punishments. The probation ends February 22, 2023.
The 24-year-old German, who was the Mexico Open defending champion in singles, was kicked out of the tournament for yelling 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 a doubles match against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, Germani gave Zverev a code violation for yelling while arguing about an opponent’s shot that was ruled in. And once the match was over, Zverev swatted the umpire’s stand.
Zverev already has been fined USD40,000 and forfeited more than USD30,000 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 USD20,000 each for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct, the maximum on-site penalty for each violation.