Andy Murray says Alexander Zverev’s extraordinary moment of rage at the Mexican Open was “reckless” and “dangerous” - after an attack on the umpire’s chair resulted in him being thrown out of the tournament.
The German, teaming up with Brazil’s Marcelo Melo, seemed to react fairly cordially at the net when they were defeated by Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool and Finland’s Harri Heliovaara, but after the handshake he shouted expletives towards chair umpire Alessandro Germani and then furiously battered his chair, narrowly missing the official’s feet.
Zverev has since apologised publicly and to the umpire, saying he rejects his actions and that he “left too much” out on the court.
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“You f****** destroyed the whole f****** match. The whole f****** match,” he shouted towards Germani, who he had first taken issue with over a disputed line call. The ATP Tour confirmed shortly after that Zverev had been withdrawn from the event in Acapulco for "unsportsmanlike conduct", with his next singles opponent, Peter Gojowczyk, given a walkover.
"It was not good. It was dangerous, reckless. I understand athletes across lots of sports, can get very frustrated,” said Murray after he was beaten by Jannik Sinner at the Dubai Tennis Championships.
“Certainly me, I've not always acted in the way I'd want on the court. I'm certainly not claiming to be an angel. I'm not perfect myself.
"However, when you're ripping your tennis racquet right next to the umpire multiple times, you can't be doing that.
“I know obviously one of the British guys who was playing, as well, a bit dangerous. It's graphite flying off the racquet, as well. Yeah, it was not good."
Zverev says he “take the coming days to reflect” on his actions, but the ATP Tour could yet punish the German further ahead of big tournaments coming up in Indian Wells and Miami.
Brad Gilbert, who used to coach Murray, Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick, has called for Zverev to be given a "big suspension and fine", calling it a "very serious" situation.
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