Andy Murray slammed Alexander Zverev for his ‘dangerous and reckless’ act against the chair umpire at the Mexico Open.
After losing in the opening round of doubles in Acapulco, Zverev lashed out at the umpire and nearly struck his foot with a racquet. The German was kicked out of the tournament for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’.
“It was not good. It was dangerous, reckless,” said Murray, who is playing at the Dubai Open.
Probably will take 2-3 days of studying 📖 the video tape of Zverev, started 2 points from finish of match,was surprised a few times in Melbourne that fines weren’t a lot bigger,this☝️ is completely a different level and everyone will be watching what @atptour going to do next
— Brad Gilbert (@bgtennisnation) February 23, 2022
“I understand athletes across lots of sports, can get very frustrated,” Murray added.
“Certainly me, I’ve not always acted in the way I’d want on the court. I’m certainly not claiming to be an angel. I’m not perfect myself.
“However, when you’re ripping your tennis racquet right next to the umpire multiple times, you can’t be doing that.
“I know obviously one of the British guys who was playing, as well, a bit dangerous. It’s graphite flying off the racquet, as well.”
Zverev, who ended up having to give a walkover to his next singles opponent Peter Gojowczyk, has apologised for his conduct on court.
“It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behaviour during and after the doubles match yesterday,” Zverev said in a statement.
“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. I would also like to apologise to my fans, the tournament, and the sport that I love.”
THIS IS DISGUSTING! There have been some pretty bad episodes on court with players this may be THE WORST abuse of an umpire I have ever seen! Pliskova belted the umpire chair but it was NOWHERE NEAR the actual umpire, this on the other hand. He should be banned 4 months for this. https://t.co/ky1HQhHh6S
— Rennae Stubbs OLY (@rennaestubbs) February 23, 2022
Zverev and Brazil’s Marcelo Melo, ranked No 1 in the world in doubles, went down 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 to lucky losers Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara in the opening round encounter.
The German was furious at the umpire for he thought was wrong line call at 8-6 in the tie-break. He hurled abuses at the umpire and called him a ‘F***king idiot.’
After the match he swung his racquet repeatedly at the umpire’s chair, nearly hitting the man in the foot, and continued to rail at him.
“I am going to take the coming days to reflect, on my actions and how I can ensure that it will not happen again,” Zverev added. “I am sorry for letting you down.”