ATP

Mexican Open expulsion was the worst moment of my life, claims Zverev

By Sports Desk March 10, 2022

World number three Alexander Zverev claims his expulsion from last month's Mexican Open in Acapulco represented the worst moment of his life.

The German, speaking ahead of the first Masters 1000 event of the year at Indian Wells, said his assault on the umpire's chair, for which he received a fine of $40,000 and a suspended eight-week ban from tennis, was a mistake he would not repeat.

The 24-year-old, who won the 2021 ATP Finals title last November, says he is still embarrassed by his actions in Mexico, having struck the umpire's chair with his racquet several times during a stunning outburst.

"It still is embarrassing for me now," Zverev said. "Walking around the locker room, it's not a nice feeling.

"But we all do mistakes. I'm also a human being, and I can guarantee you I will never act this way again in my life. 

"It was definitely the worst moment of my life."

Zverev will begin the Indian Wells Masters as the third seed, although world number two Novak Djokovic has been forced to withdraw from the competition due to his vaccination status.

The 24-year-old, who exited at the quarter-final stage of 2021's delayed edition of the tournament, says he has been working hard to avoid a repeat of his Acapulco meltdown and knows there is no room for error given his suspended ban.

"I've been doing work, meditation-wise," he said. "I think there are stress[ful] situations in everyone's life where stuff like this happens. I'm not the first and I won't be the last for something bad to happen on the court.

"I know who I am as a person, and this doesn't reflect me. I had played until 5am the day before – the same day I went back to play doubles.

"I am somebody that gives it his all on the court. I would have never physically harmed anyone.

"If I do that again, they have every right to ban me – it's as simple as that.

"If I do that again, it means I haven't learnt. I think everybody in life deserves a second chance, but if you repeatedly do mistakes it means that you haven't learnt."

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