Tennis Star's Attack on Chair Gets Him Booted From Tourney

No. 3 Alexander Zverev smashed the umpire's seat with his racket at Mexican Open
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 23, 2022 11:10 AM CST

German tennis star Alexander Zverev is out of the Mexican Open—and not because of a loss. Zverev, ranked third in the world in men's singles, defeated Jenson Brooksby of the US 3-6 7-6 (10) 6-2 in a singles match early Tuesday, before heading into a men's doubles match with his Brazilian partner, Marcelo Melo. It would end with his ejection from the tournament as a whole. After losing 6-2 4-6 10-6 to Lloyd Glasspool of the UK and Harri Heliovaara of Finland, Zverev marched toward the umpire's chair and struck it three times with his racket, appearing to narrowly miss the feet of the umpire, who flinched. Zverev then sat down on the bench next to the chair, only to quickly jump up.

"You f---ing destroyed the whole f---ing match! The whole f---ing match, you destroyed!" Zverev shouted before striking the chair a fourth and final time, CNN reports. The outlet notes the German also called the umpire a "f---ing idiot" following a line call during the deciding super tiebreak, which ESPN reports resulted in a code violation. His opponents then finished the match with an ace. "Due to unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of his doubles match on Tuesday night, Alexander Zverev has been withdrawn from the tournament in Acapulco," the Association of Tennis Professionals later said. That means Zverev's opponent in the next round of men's singles, fellow German Peter Gojowczyk, automatically advances to the quarterfinals.

Zverev, who could face more sanctions, went on to apologize to the umpire and the tennis community. "It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behavior during and after the doubles match," the 24-year-old wrote in an Instagram story, per Sky News. "I am only disappointed in myself. It just should not have happened and there is no excuse." He added he would "take the coming days to reflect on my actions and how I can ensure that it will not happen again." In his defense, Zverev may have been suffering from a lack of sleep. His match with Brooksby, beginning at 1:30am local time, set a record for the latest-ever finish to a professional tennis match, wrapping up at 4:55am, per Sporting News. (More tennis stories.)

Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.