Alexander Zverev news: Rafael Nadal supports decision to expel German
Alexander Zverev’s expulsion from the Acapulco Open for his foul-mouthed and violent tantrum was deserved said Rafael Nadal.
Nadal, in Acapulco to play his first match since he won the Australian Open last month, added it was not the ‘Sascha’ he knew.
Zverev smashed his racket several times against the umpire Alessandro Germani’s chair and delivered a foul-mouthed rant at the official which was picked up by the live broadcast of the event.
Ausraster von Alexander #Zverev: Beim ATP-Turnier in Acapulco schlägt der Tennisspieler mit seinem Schläger mehrmals auf den Stuhl des Umpire ein. Zusammen mit Marcelo Melo hatte er zuvor gegen das Doppel Glasspool/Heliovaara verloren. @sportschaupic.twitter.com/OTMuHD00AW
— Deutschlandfunk Sport (@DLF_Sport) February 23, 2022
The defending champion was disqualified, additional punishment is likely to follow, and issued an apology saying his tirade of abuse at Germani was “unacceptable.”
“I enjoy good relations with Alexander, but at the end of the day the punishment is deserved,” said Nadal at a press conference after beating American Stefan Kozlov in the second round of the Acapulco Open.
“One cannot behave in this manner and I believe he is conscious of that.”
Nadal said Zverev’s behaviour served as a bad example to the youngsters who saw tennis stars as role models.
“Unfortunately, the image that Alexander gave yesterday, exacerbated by being posted on social media accounts which lights the touchpaper, will have been seen by millions of children,” said Nadal.
“They base their attitude on ours and we must set an example and show a minimum of respect.”
Nadal chasing a 91st career ATP title and fourth Acapulco crown said every player endures frustrating moments.
“I understand the frustration, I understand that in a moment of anger one can break a racket,” he said.
“I am not going to criticise him more than to say it displeases me because I was not brought up like that.”
The senior statesmen of the game have taken a dim view of the tantrum.
Djokovic was disqualified from the 2020 US Open for inadvertently hitting a line judge with a ball but said he could not “justify” Zverev’s actions.
Murray speaking after being knocked out of the Dubai tournament termed Zverev’s tantrum as “dangerous” and reckless”. Zverev had struck the umpire’s chair very close to his feet.
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