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23 Feb, 2022 16:39

Zverev offers apologies for on-court temper tantrum

German tennis star Alexander Zverev has issued an apology after he was expelled from the Mexican Open for violently striking the umpire's chair
Zverev offers apologies for on-court temper tantrum

German tennis star Alexander Zverev says that he "regrets" his outburst during a doubles match at the Mexican Open in Acapulco on Tuesday which culminated in his hitting the umpire's chair several times, with one strike almost hitting the umpire's foot. 

The irate Zverez was later expelled from the Mexican event for "unsportsmanlike conduct" shortly after he and his doubles partner, Brazilian player Marcelo Melo, were beaten in a third set tie break by Lloyd Glasspool of Great Britain and Finland's Harri Heliovaara.

After first shaking hands with the winning team, Zverev approached the chair umpire and struck the chair he was sitting on three times with his racket.

He then went to sit in the players' area before again returning to the umpire and striking his chair one final time. He could also be heard angrily shouting at the official, while members of the crowd could also be heard jeering his aggressive actions.

It seems, though, that calmer heads have since prevailed and Zverev has taken to social media to release a statement in which he apologized for his actions.

"It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behavior during and after the doubles match yesterday," the German world number three wrote.

"I have privately apologized 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 at there is no excuse.

"I would also like to apologize 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 am 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."

Zverev's outburst was instigated by what he saw as poor calls from the umpire in the decisive third set and prompted Mexican Open organizers to release a statement to say that he has been "withdrawn" from the event.

"Due to unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of his doubles match on Tuesday night, Alexander Zverev has been withdrawn from the tournament in Acapulco," a statement posted to Twitter read.

Zverev's scheduled opponent in the second round, Peter Gojowczyk, has been granted a bye to the third round.