World number three Alexander Zverev has been handed a suspended eight-week ban from ATP-sanctioned events following an investigation into his conduct at the Mexican Open last month.
The German was thrown out of the tournament in Acapulco after he repeatedly hit the chair of umpire Alessandro Germani with his racket at the end of a doubles match.
Zverev almost hit the leg of the official at one point and while he apologised publicly for the incident and privately to Germani, ATP’s senior vice-president of rules and competition. Miro Bratoev, conducted a review into the behaviour of the 24-year-old which was concluded this week.Alexander Zverev
An ATP statement on Tuesday read- “The review determined that Zverev committed Aggravated Behaviour under the Player Major Offense section of ATP Rules. “As a result, Zverev has been issued an additional fine of 25,000 US dollars and a suspension for a period of eight weeks from any ATP-sanctioned event.
“However, the fine and suspension are withheld on the condition that, over a probation period ending 22 February 2023 (one year from the incident), the player does not incur a further Code Violation.”
It means Zverev will now be walking on a tightrope with a further code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct or verbal or physical abuse towards “an official, opponent, spectator or any other person” on-court resulting in an eight-week suspension being implemented, subject to any appeal process.
Zverev has been issued an additional fine of 25,000 US dollars and a suspension for a period of eight weeks from any ATP-sanctioned event. The 2020 US Open runner-up had already been fined 40,000 US dollars (£30,000) and forfeited his prize money of more than 30,000 US dollars (£22,500) for his actions.
Zverev has until Friday to lodge an appeal but did apologise for the incident that took place on February 23 after a doubles’ match alongside Marcelo Melo against Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool and Finland’s Harri Heliovaara, who won 6-2 4-6 10-6.
He wrote: “It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behaviour 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 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. “As you know, I leave everything on the court. Yesterday, I left too much. I’m going to take the coming days to reflect on my actions and how I can ensure that it will not happen again. I am sorry for letting you down.”
Following the shocking incident, Olympic gold medallist Zverev faced calls for him to given a lengthy ban with Serena Williams saying she would be in jail for such an incident and criticised the sport for “double standards” but the ATP has option for a suspended sentence.