World No. 3 Alexander Zverev made the headlines for all the wrong reasons in February when he attacked the chair umpire’s stand after losing his first-round doubles match at the 2022 Acapulco Open. Unhappy with the umpire’s decision in the match, Zverev hurled abuses and smashed his racquet at the chair umpire’s stand narrowly missing the official’s feet.
After an initial outburst, Zverev did not stop and despite returning back to the players’ bench, he returned to continue arguing and criticising the umpire and arguing with him the entire time till he left the court. As a result of his actions, Zverev was removed from the singles event and was fined $60,000. To put the number in perspective, a first-round winner in the 2022 Australian Open won $103,000 in prize money for advancing into the second round and a first-round loser earned somewhere in the $70,000 range as an appearance fee in the major.
Angry with the ATP for no further action 2013 Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli expressed herself in a recent interview with Tennis Majors questioning the governing body for its lack of action.
“To see Alexander Zverev just going out and smashing his racket so close to the umpire and almost just wanting to attack him, staying in that fine line where he didn’t touch him and can defend himself, to me that was outrageous. That to me deserved at least a three-tournament suspension, not play Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo, it deserved that at least, otherwise where do you draw the line?
“The fine was a big amount for normal people, but for tennis players such as Alexander Zverev who earns so much on and off the court that was not that much – I don’t think he will learn the lessons he should have learned,” said Bartoli.
Alexander Zverev put on probation for a year
Other than the fine, Zverev has been put on probation that would see him suffer more consequences if he repeats his action within the next year. Sascha will be ‘suspended from ATP tournaments for eight weeks and fined an additional $25,000 if he gets a code violation that generally results in a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct or “verbal or physical abuse of an official, opponent, spectator, or any other person while on-court or on-site,’ as per the ATP.