Alexander Zverev news: German’s punishment wasn’t harsh enough says former Wimbledon champion
Alexander Zverev had a major meltdown during the Mexican Open in Acapulco while he was playing in a doubles match alongside his partner Marcelo Melo which ultimately led to him being kicked out of the tournament and fined, but former player Marion Bartoli didn’t think this punishment went far enough.
The German completely lost it with the umpire and subsequently started swearing at him and smashing his racket against the umpire’s chair repeatedly.
Once he was thrown out of the competition he was fined $40,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct, and a further $31,570 in prize money was stripped away from the world No 3, however the 2013 Wimbledon champion believes he got off easy.
“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,” Bartoli explained to Tennis Majors.
“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.”
After the incident, the 24-year-old did release a statement where he admitted what he had done was wrong and wanted to do better next time, but the ATP have recently come out and said a harsher approach needs to be taken when it comes to on court outbursts.
ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi has said these passionate outbursts “shine a bad light on our sport” and he doesn’t want the wrong message to be sent to fans about what is appropriate.
“The first three months of the season have seen an unusual frequency of high-profile incidents involving unsportsmanlike conduct, this includes serious cases of verbal and racket abuse,” Gaudenzi revealed.
“We have seen too many dangerous moments with officials or ball persons caught in the crossfire of aggressive or disrespectful conduct, these incidents shine a bad light on our sport, this conduct affects everyone and sends the wrong message to our fans, especially young fans.
“Effective immediately, and as we head into the clay court swing, the ATP officiating team has been directed to take a stricter stance in judging violations of the Code of Conduct – additionally we are also undertaking a review of the Code, as well as the disciplinary processes, to ensure that it provides appropriate and up-to-date penalties for repeat offenders.”
Zverev is next due to play in the Monte Carlo Masters, with his opening round taking place on April 12, but his opponent is still unknown.
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