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."

Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Alexander Zverev has been issued a suspended eight-week ban and $25,000 fine by the ATP following his expulsion from last month's Mexico Open in Acapulco.

Zverev was withdrawn from the Acapulco event after an extraordinary outburst during a doubles match where he became angered at a call made the umpire, who overruled a decision from the line judge.

After losing the next point, which was match point, Zverev smashed his racquet against the umpire's chair three times. Zverev then shouted at the umpire that he had "destroyed the whole f****** match" before striking the chair again.

The ATP subsequently withdrew Zverev from the singles draw of the event due to unsportsmanlike conduct at the time and issued a statement on Monday after a review detailing the sanctions, including a suspended eight-week ban for aggravated behaviour.

"The review determined that Zverev committed Aggravated Behaviour under the Player Major Offense section of ATP Rules," the ATP statement said.

"As a result, Zverev has been issued an additional fine of US$25,000 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 that results in a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct… and verbal or physical abuse."

The German had been fined $40,000 at the time as well as forfeiting full event prize money of $31,570 and all ATP rankings points from the Mexico Open. He has since apologised for his actions.

Former US Open winner Sloane Stephens claimed her first WTA title since 2018 after downing Marie Bouzkova in three sets in Sunday's Abierto Zapopan decider in Guadalajara.

American sixth seed Stephens triumphed 7-5 1-6 6-2 in an epic final which lasted two hours and 28 minutes against 96th-ranked Bouzkova.

Stephens, who won the 2017 US Open, has struggled to re-discover her previous levels of success in recent years, having gone undefeated in the first six WTA singles finals of her career and reaching the world number three ranking.

But Sunday's triumph – Stephens' seventh career WTA title - marks a major return to form for the 28-year-old who lost in the first round of last month's Australian Open to Emma Raducanu.

Stephens had trailed 4-1 in the first set but hit back before Bouzkova double faulted on break point at 5-5.

However, the Czech responded in a one-sided second set, breaking Stephens early and never looking back.

The American claimed the first break of the deciding set at 3-2, with Bouzkova letting slip a 40-0 lead, with Stephens' forehand leading her to victory.

American sixth seed Sloane Stephens will face Czech Marie Bouzkova in the WTA Abierto Zapopan final in Guadalajara on Sunday after the pair triumphed in Saturday's semi-finals.

The 2017 US Open champion qualified for her first final since 2018, winning 3-6 7-5 (ret) with Russian opponent Anna Kalinskaya succumbing to injury late in the second set.

Kalinskaya retired shortly after Stephens claimed the second set having battled through back pain for several games, with the match moving close to two hours.

The Russian had shown signs of injury during Friday's quarter-final win over Camila Osorio which she won in straight sets, yet Kalinskaya raced into the lead in the first set against Stephens.

Bouzkova, who knocked out reigning champion Sara Sorribes Tormo in Friday's quarter-finals, triumphed 6-3 6-3 oover Qiang Wang  in one hour and 31 minutes.

The 23-year-old Czech is ranked 96th in the world and has never won a WTA Tour singles title.

Sloane Stephens fought back from a set down to reach her first hard court semi-finals since 2018 as she defeated Daria Saville at the WTA Abierto Zapopan on Friday.

The 2017 US Open champion triumphed in two hours and 29 minutes over the Australian, winning 4-6 6-3 6-2 in Guadalajara.

Stephens, who will play Russian Anna Kalinskaya in the last four, had not reached a hard court semi since the 2018 WTA Finals.

But the American was forced to do it the hard way after losing the first set, saving nine of 13 break points across the match, with her ability to win second serve points proving key.

Colombian fourth seed Camila Osorio was bundled out in 80 minutes by Kalinskaya 6-4 6-1.

There was also a straight-sets win for Marie Bouzkova after she defeated third seed Sara Sorribes Tormo 6-4 6-1.

She will face Wang Qiang in the last eight, who proved too good for Slovakian Anna Karolina Schmiedlova 6-2 6-3.

 New world number one Daniil Medvedev said he wants to "promote peace all over the world", after the Russian achieved a career highlight amid the crisis in Ukraine.

Medvedev's 6-2 6-3 victory over Japan's Yoshihito Nishioka saw him advance to the final four of the Mexican Open in Acapulco on Thursday, where he will face Rafael Nadal in a repeat of last month's Australian Open final classic.

The Russian advanced shortly after Novak Djokovic's shock loss to Jiri Vesely at the Dubai Tennis Championships, which ensured that he will start next week atop the ATP world rankings for the first time.

The news came shortly after Russian president Vladimir Putin launched a military assault on neighbouring Ukraine, an act that has attracted condemnation from across the sporting world.

"Watching the news from home, waking up here in Mexico, was not easy," Medvedev told reporters.

"By being a tennis player, I want to promote peace all over the world. We play in so many different countries. I've been in so many countries as a junior and as a pro. 

"It's just not easy to hear all this news. I'm all for peace. In these moments, you understand that tennis sometimes is not that important. 

"It was not easy to play and I'm happy that I managed to win the match, but it was a bit of a rollercoaster day for me."

Medvedev's compatriot Andrey Rublev had earlier spoken out in favour of peace, calling the situation "terrible" in an Instagram post.

"In these moments you realise that my match is not important," Rublev's post read. "It's not about my match, how it affects me. What's happening is much more terrible.

"You realise how important it is to have peace in the world and to respect each other no matter what, to be united. 

"We should take care of our Earth and of each other. This is the most important thing."

Rublev teamed up with Ukrainian Denys Molchanov to win the Open 13 Provence doubles title in Marseille just days ago, having also won the singles title at the tournament in southern France.

Former US Open champion Sloane Stephens progressed into the quarter-finals at the WTA Abierto Zapopan in Guadalajara after a hard-fought win over Chloe Paquet on Thursday.

Stephens won in straight sets but it took almost two hours, triumphing 7-5 6-4 over the Frenchwoman ranked just outside the top 100.

The 28-year-old American was dominant on her first serve, while she broke her opponent five times throughout the match.

Stephens, who is the sixth seed, will play Daria Saville in the last eight after the Australian eased past qualifier Caroline Dolehide 6-1 6-3 in one hour and seven minutes.

Third seed and defending champion Sara Sorribes Tormo made light work of Poland's Magdalena Frech 6-0 6-2 to set up a quarter-final meeting with Marie Bouzkova.

Colombian fourth seed Camila Osorio needed just over two hours to get past Hailey Baptiste 1-6 6-3 6-3, fighting back after a lopsided first set.

Rafael Nadal hopes Alexander Zverev's withdrawal from the Mexico Open will "serve as a lesson" for him and other players when it comes to controlling their emotions on the court.

The world number three was pulled out of this month's tournament in Acapulco following an outburst where he hit the umpire's chair with his racquet in a tirade following a doubles defeat.

The ATP subsequently barred him from competition for a second-round singles clash, with several leading players, including Novak Djokovic, condemning the German's actions.

Speaking ahead of his own quarter-final this week, Nadal - who won a record-breaking 21st Grand Slam in at the Australian Open last month - stated he hoped the 24-year-old and other young players would learn that such behaviour is not acceptable.

"It's unfortunate, without a doubt," the Spaniard said. "I feel sorry for him as I have a good relationship with Alexander.

"In the end, he deserves the sanction because you can't act in this way.

"I think Sascha is aware of that and I hope this will serve as a lesson for him and for other young players who sometimes lose control on the court.

"I am not going to enter into what is or is not fair in terms of sanction," Nadal said. "But in the end you have to stop that type of attitude from becoming fashionable."

Zverev had been due to face Peter Gojowczyk in a singles encounter before he exploded at the end of his match with partner Marcelo Melo against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara.

Following an over-ruled decision from the umpire that handed the latter pair match point in a super tie-break, the duo decided the game with an ace the very next serve.

That led to Zverev smashing his racquet against the umpire's chair on multiple occasions in quick succession, punctured by a foul-mouthed tirade.

The Tokyo 2020 champion subsequently apologised for his behaviour. The Mexico Open continues until February 26.

Marie Bouzkova is through to the quarter-finals at the Abierto Zapopan in Guadalajara after beating Lucia Bronzetti in straight sets.

The Czech, ranked 96th in the world, will play either number three seed Sara Sorribes Tormo or Magdalena Frech in the last eight after sealing a 7-6 (7-2) 6-2 win against Bronzetti.

Anna Kalinskaya is also through after following up her impressive first-round win against eighth seed Qinwen Zheng by beating another Chinese opponent, Xinyu Wang 6-4 0-6 6-4.

The Russian had a mixed outing and looked to be on the ropes after losing the second set, but recovered and will go up against either fourth seed Camila Osorio or Hailey Baptiste in the quarter-finals.

One last eight match that has been finalised will be between Qiang Wang and Anna Karolina Schmiedlova after they beat Harmony Tan and Anastasia Potapova respectively.

Wang overcame her French opponent – who had eliminated second seed Madison Keys – 6-4 6-2, while Schmiedlova also won in straight sets against Potapova, 6-3 7-6 (7-5).

Novak Djokovic condemned the actions of Alexander Zverev, but expressed his support for the world number three after he was "withdrawn" from the Mexico Open for hitting the umpire's chair with his racquet.

Zverev was enraged during a doubles clash with partner Marcelo Melo against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, after the umpire over-ruled a decision from the line judge.

That subsequently handed Glasspool and Heliovaara match point in the super tie-break, which was decided by an ace on the next serve.

Zverev quickly walked off and smashed his racquet against the umpire's chair three times, before shouting at the umpire that he had "destroyed the whole f****** match" and striking the chair again.

The German was then withdrawn by the ATP due to "unsportsmanlike conduct" ahead of a second-round singles meeting with Peter Gojowczyk.

The Olympic champion has apologised for his actions, explaining his regret at letting his fans, the tournament, and the sport that he loves down, and Djokovic believes Zverev will learn from his mistake.

"I saw the video, I saw Sascha's [Zverev] statement," Djokovic told reporters at a news conference after cruising into the quarter-finals of the Dubai Tennis Championships.

"I think he said it all in that statement. He realises that it was a mistake. I understand the frustration. Sometimes on the court, you feel in the heat of the battle lots of different emotions, different things happening in your head.

"I've made mistakes in the past where I've had tantrums on the court, so I understand what the player is going through. Of course, I do not justify his actions, but that statement has handled it in the right way. 

"He said he made a mistake and his actions were not appropriate. I think that the disqualification decision was not too harsh, I think it was correct under the circumstances. 

"Of course, it can be harsh for a player to get disqualified from a tournament. I know a year-and-a-half ago, I had something - I can't say similar - but I was disqualified from a grand slam after unintentionally hitting the line umpire.

"I realised that it was a mistake and I had to take it. Hopefully, he can reflect on that and not let something like that happen again in his life. I'm sure that he's going to approach it maturely."

Djokovic enjoyed a much calmer outing in Dubai, where he overcame Karen Khachanov in just 98 minutes 6-3 7-6 (7-2) to tee up a quarter-final tie against qualifier Jiri Vesely.

He was then keen to stress that Zverev is not the first player to produce a raging response when on the court, and insisted that the 24-year-old will recover from the outburst.

"I'm sure that the ATP management and officials will look at the video, will probably interview the chair umpire, will take some time to decide what they want to do," he added.

"I'm never going to encourage the ATP disqualifying or fining a player because I'm not in a position to do that, why would I do that? 

"Everyone is a human being, everyone is flawed and can make mistakes, but I wouldn't say that he was the only one that ever has done something like that. 

"There were many examples of players hitting their racquet in the umpire's chair. It happens. Bottles, bags were thrown, a lot of things, a lot of bad words. It's not the only case."

Alexander Zverev has apologised for his outburst at the Mexico Open that saw him "withdrawn" from the singles competition for attacking an umpire's chair. 

Zverev and Brazil's Marcelo Melo were in a super tie-break against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara when they were angered by a call made by the umpire, who overruled a decision from the line judge.

Glasspool and Heliovaara subsequently profited by delivering an ace on match point, which was followed by Zverev quickly walking off and smashing his racquet against the umpire's chair three times.

The world number three then shouted at the umpire that he had "destroyed the whole f****** match" before striking the chair again.

Zverev was due to be in second-round singles action against Peter Gojowczyk, but the ATP Tour confirmed the Olympic champion had been removed from the draw due to "unsportsmanlike conduct".

Former world number one Andy Murray condemned the 24-year-old's "reckless" outburst after his loss to Jannik Sinner, and Zverev has now apologised unreservedly for his raging response.

"It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behaviour during and after the doubles match yesterday," Zverev wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. 

"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.

"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."

Alexander Zverev has been "withdrawn" from the singles competition at the Mexican Open in Acapulco after attacking the umpire's chair at the end of his defeat in the doubles.

Zverev and Brazil's Marcelo Melo were in a super tie-break against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara when they were angered by a call made by the umpire.

A return on Melo's serve seemed to be called out by a line judge, but the umpire overruled the decision to put Glasspool and Heliovaara 9-6 up and give them match point, a subsequent ace ending the match in their favour.

As the pairs shook hands at the net afterwards, Zverev quickly walked off and smashed his racquet against the umpire's chair three times.

He then shouted at the umpire that he had "destroyed the whole f****** match" before striking the chair once more.

Zverev was due to face Peter Gojowczyk in the second round of the singles, but the ATP Tour confirmed the Olympic champion has been removed from the draw.

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

Rafael Nadal equalled the best start to a season in his career after winning his first match at the Mexican Open on Tuesday.

In his first match since a record 21st grand slam title in Australia, Nadal was a comfortable 6-3 6-2 winner over Denis Kudla, dropping only four points on serve.

Nadal is now 11-0 for the season, equalling the start he made in 2014, when his winning run was ended by Stan Wawrinka in the Australian Open final.

"I think I started playing well, a good victory in straight sets. That's always very positive for the confidence," said Nadal. "I think I played a very solid match for the first day.

"Of course, there are a couple of things that I can do better, but in general terms, I played well, so I can't complain at all."

Daniil Medvedev, who had also not played since the final in Melbourne, came through a tougher contest against Benoit Paire 6-3 6-4 in his opening match in Acapulco.

Medvedev held a two-set lead and looked in control before Nadal came roaring back to claim the Australian Open title, but the Russian could claim a landmark achievement in his first tournament since that heartbreak.

Medvedev, who faces Pablo Andujar next, will become world number one if he wins in Mexico, regardless of Novak Djokovic's performances in Dubai.

"It's always not easy to come back after some rest and some time off competition," he said. "I felt like my sensations were not at the top today, but I managed to fight until the end against a very tough opponent, and I'm happy that I managed to win."

Stefanos Tsitsipas racked up the 200th win of his career, holding off Laslo Djere to win two tie-breaks. He will now face J.J. Wolf, who surprised Lorenzo Sonego by fighting back from a set down to win 3-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-2.

Cameron Norrie was a straight-sets winner over Daniel Altmaier, while Yoshihito Nishioka battled through against veteran Feliciano Lopez.

Tommy Paul progressed after Matteo Berrettini retired when the American was poised to tie the match at one set all. John Millman also had to call an early halt to his match with Marcos Giron after a freak accident on court in which the Australian accidentally hit a ball into his eye.

At the Chile Open, home favourite Alejandro Tabilo beat Renzo Olivo in straight sets, while fifth seed Federico Coria was earlier knocked out by Yannick Hanfmann.

Miomir Kecmanovic defeated Marco Cecchinato, while there were also wins for seeds Sebastian Baez and Facundo Bagnis.

Emma Raducanu was forced to retire in her first WTA Tour match since the Australian Open.

The US Open champion exited to Danka Kovinic in round two in Melbourne, as her bid for another major title was hampered by a painful blister to her right hand.

A month on, Raducanu took on Daria Saville at the Abierto Zapopan in Guadalajara but was forced to call a halt to proceedings after three hours and 36 minutes, with the scores at 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 4-3. It was the longest WTA match of 2022.

The 19-year-old had fallen at the first hurdle at last year's Linz Open, the only previous event where she appeared as the top seed, and she might have feared a repeat amid a slow start on Tuesday.

Raducanu and Saville traded early breaks, before the Australian seemed to settle first, claiming a 3-1 lead.

Back roared Raducanu and a tense opener continued in back-and-forth fashion, although the big opportunities fell the Briton's way.

She let slip three break points at 5-4 but had four more at 6-5, eventually able to celebrate with a mixture of relief and delight when Saville netted.

Raducanu served for the match at 5-3 in the second, but Saville battled on not only to force the tie-break but also a deciding set.

The Australian fell 2-0 down in the third but was ahead 3-2 when Raducanu took a medical time-out and returned to court with heavy strapping on her leg. After struggling through another two games, Raducanu retired a break down at 4-3, meaning Saville will progress to face Caroline Dolehide.

Meanwhile, after the shock exit of Madison Keys the previous day, Raducanu's fellow seeds had no such issues this time around.

Sara Sorribes Tormo and Camila Osorio each advanced in straight sets, beating Katie Volynets and Viktoriya Tomova respectively.

German star Alexander Zverev was too strong for top seed Stefanos Tsitsipas in the Mexican Open final, claiming the title in straight sets after a stunning turnaround.

In a battle of the top two seeds, Zverev reigned supreme 6-4 7-6 (7-3) for his 14th ATP crown in Saturday's Acapulco decider.

Last year's US Open finalist Zverev was runner-up at the ATP 500 tournament in 2019, beaten by Australian Nick Kyrgios in straight sets.

But Zverev went one step further this year, taking down two-time Australian Open semi-finalist Tsitsipas after two hours, 17 minutes.

Zverev, who was rocked during his semi-final win over countryman Dominik Koepfer on Friday – a 5.7 magnitude earthquake registered as broadcast cameras shook, did not drop a set throughout his title-winning run.

Greek star Tsitsipas made an impressive start, racing out to a 3-0 lead after breaking Zverev in the second game.

Zverev, though, hit back as he put the set back on serve in the seventh game before consolidating.

Another break saw Tsitsipas come unstuck – Zverev reeling off six consecutive games to claim the opening set in red-hot fashion.

Zverev and Tsitsipas went toe-to-toe in the second set, the pair exchanging breaks late as a tie-break eventually saw the former complete a dominant display.

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