Alexander Zverev handed eight-week suspended ban for Acapulco Open outburst

German world No 3 was kicked out of the tournament after smashing a racquet against the umpire's chair

Alexander Zverev hits the umpire's chair with his racket after his double match at the Acapulco Open. Reuters
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Alexander Zverev has been handed a suspended eight-week ban by the ATP after the world No 3's angry outburst during the Acapulco Open, which saw him smash his racquet against the umpire's chair.

Zverev, who was the defending singles champion, was expelled from the tournament, fined $40,000, and forfeited more than $31,000 in prize money and all rankings points earned from singles and doubles action at the Abierto Mexicano tournament.

Following a review, the ATP found the 24-year-old German had committed "aggravated behaviour" and issued an additional fine of $25,000 and an eight-week ban from any ATP-sanctioned event.

The ATP said, however, the ban and the additional fine were suspended, providing that over a probation period ending one year after the incident, Zverev does not incur any more fines for unsportsmanlike conduct.

After losing in doubles at Acapulco and upset over a line call in the match, Zverev approached umpire Alessandro Germani's chair and came perilously close to hitting him as he swung at the official's stand before heading towards his courtside seat.

The 2020 US Open runner-up then approached the chair a second time and again hit it while shouting expletives.

Shortly before the match ended, Germani handed Zverev a code violation for yelling and swearing in protest of the shot that was ruled in and set up match point.

Zverev apologised for his behaviour, issuing a statement shortly after the incident which read: "It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behavior during and after the doubles match yesterday. 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."

The biggest penalty in men's tennis to date was handed down to Australian Nick Kyrgios in 2019 for verbally abusing a chair umpire and smashing two racquets. After an initial fine of $113,000, he was given a suspended ban of 16 weeks and an additional fine of $25,000 following an ATP investigation.

Italy's Fabio Fognini was also provisionally suspended for two Grand Slam tournaments and fined $96,000 following the 2017 US Open where he had directed vulgar language toward Swedish chair umpire Louise Engzell during his first-round loss.

Updated: March 08, 2022, 7:06 AM
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