Alexander Zverev news: German’s disqualification ‘correct under the circumstances’, says Novak Djokovic
He has some sympathy for Alexander Zverev after the German’s meltdown led to him being kicked out of the Mexican Open, but Novak Djokovic ultimately believes the disqualification was “not too harsh”.
Zverev hit the headlines for the wrong reasons on Wednesday after he first launched a swearing rant at the umpire over a call during his doubles match alongside Marcelo Melo and then smashed the official’s chair with his racket.
He was later withdrawn from the Acapulco tournament for “unsportsmanlike conduct” and issued an apology.
“It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behaviour during and after the doubles match yesterday,” he said in a statement.
“I have privately apologised to the chair umpire because my outburst towards him was wrong and unacceptable, and I am only disappointed in myself.
“It just should not have happened and there is no excuse. I would also like to apologise to my fans, the tournament, and the sport that I love.”
Djokovic, who was disqualified from the 2020 US Open after he accidentally hit a line official in the throat while returning a ball to a ball kid, believes the German has gone about things the right way with his apology, but feels the ATP Tour made the right decision to kick him out.
“I made mistakes in the past where I’ve had tantrums on the court,” the world No 1 said.
“I understand what the player is going through. But, of course, I do not justify his actions. He has, with the words that he had in the statement, handled it in a right way. He said he made a mistake and his actions were not appropriate. I think the disqualification decision was, you know, not too harsh.
“I think it was correct under the circumstances. Of course, it is harsh for a player to get qualified from a tournament. A year and a half ago I had something I can’t say similar, but I was disqualified from a Grand Slam with unintentionally hitting the line umpire.
“I realise it is a mistake and I have to take it. Hopefully he can reflect on that and not let something like that happen ever again in his life. I’m sure he’s going to approach it maturely.”
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