Alexander Zverev, Nick Kyrgios and other ATP bad boys warned over their ‘aggressive’ behaviour

Shahida Jacobs
Nick Kyrgios loses his cool

The increase in high-profile on-court “dangerous moments” involving the likes of Alexander Zverev and Nick Kyrgios has resulted in the ATP confirming that stricter punishment will be handed out to offending players while the organisation will also review its guidelines to clamp down on repeat offenders.

Zverev was expelled from the Mexican Open in February after he verbally abused a chair umpire and also struck the official’s chair with his racket multiple times.

The German was fined, docked his prize money and lost all of his rankings points following the incident and, although the ATP conducted an additional review, they only handed him a suspended fine and ban.

Not long after Kyrgios nearly hit a ball person after throwing his racket during the Indian Wells Open, which resulted in a fine.

That was followed by another incident involving the Australian at the Miami Open where he lashed out at the chair umpire after he was docked a penalty point and a penalty game for smashing his racket.

Nick Kyrgios doubles down on criticism of chair umpire: ‘He made it about himself’

He also criticised the officials after the match while Jenson Brooksby was also involved in an incident in Miami with his racket nearly hitting a ball person.

Tennis great Tracy Austin urged the ATP to “step up” and they have heeded those calls as ATP Chairman Andrea Gaudenzi admitted “these incidents shine a bad light on our sport”.

“The first three months of the season have seen an unusual frequency of high-profile incidents involving unsportsmanlike conduct,” Gaudenzi wrote. “This includes serious cases of verbal and racket abuse.

“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 had 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.”