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Alexander Zverev’s violent outburst draws one-year probation from ATP

Alexander Zverev won two singles matches to help Germany beat Brazil in Davis Cup play over the weekend, his first competition since his outburst in Mexico. (Bruna Prado/AP)
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Alexander Zverev was placed on probation for one year by the Association of Tennis Professionals for a violent outburst last month in which he repeatedly struck the chair umpire’s stand after a doubles loss at the Mexican Open.

If Zverev receives a code violation that results in a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct or for “verbal or physical abuse of an official, opponent, spectator or any other person while on-court or on-site,” he will be suspended from ATP events for eight weeks and fined an additional $25,000 on top of the $40,000 in fines he received on-site, the governing body for men’s tennis announced Monday night.

The probationary period ends Feb. 22, 2023 — one year from the date of the incident.

If Zverev, who won a gold medal for Germany at the Tokyo Olympics and is ranked third in the world in men’s singles, meets those requirements, the ATP said the penalties would be formally dismissed. The runner-up in the 2020 U.S. Open has until Friday to appeal the ruling by Miro Bratoev, the ATP’s senior vice president of rules and competition.

In his first event since the incident, Zverev won two singles matches as Germany beat Brazil in Davis Cup play this past weekend in Rio de Janeiro.

In Acapulco last month, Zverev was ejected from the singles tournament, in which he was the defending champion, and forfeited more than $30,000 in prize money along with the ranking points he had earned at the event. At the time, the ATP said he had been fined $20,000 each for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct, the maximum on-site penalty for each violation.

Moments before his outburst, Zverev had received a code violation for yelling and cursing as he disputed the ruling of a shot that was called in, setting up match point for Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara. He and Marcelo Melo shook hands with their opponents after the round-of-16 loss, and as he headed to the sideline, Zverev struck the umpire’s chair three times, nearly hitting Alessandro Germani’s right leg and foot. Zverev initially walked away, then approached again as Germani began to climb down and took another swing as he shouted and cursed at the umpire.

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The crowd booed, and Zverev gave his ruined racket to a child in the stands. He later apologized for his behavior.

“It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behavior during and after the doubles match,” he wrote in an Instagram story. “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 and 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 was the subject of an ATP investigation last fall after allegations of domestic abuse by his ex-girlfriend, Olga Sharypova. He has denied the accusations.

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