Former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli has questioned why Alexander Zverev was not sanctioned more severely, following his behaviour at the Mexican Open.
Zverev was disqualified from the tournament in Acapulco, after smashing an umpire’s chair with his racquet.
The German was fined $40,000 (£30,000) and forced to give up the $31,750 (£24,000) he’d earned in prize money. He also the ranking points he gained at the tournament.
Yet, despite many anticipating that the world number three would face a ban from competing, he was only hit with a suspended eight-week ban and a $25,000 (19,000) fine, following an ATP investigation.
Bartoli speaks out
A number of tennis stars have spoken out publically on Zverev’s punishment, with many choosing to condemn the ATP for not being harsher.
Serena Williams said she’d “probably be in jail” if she behaved in the same way as the German.
Now Bartoli, who won Wimbledon in 2013, has stressed that Zverev deserved at least some form of tournament ban.
“To see Alexander Zverev just going out and smashing his racquet so close to the umpire and almost just wanting to attack him [but] staying in that fine line where he didn’t touch him and can defend himself. To me that was outrageous,” she told Tennis Majors.
“That to me deserved at least a three-tournament suspension [and to] not play Indian Wells, Miami and Monte Carlo. It deserved that at least, otherwise where do you draw the line?
“The fine was a big amount for normal people, but for tennis players such as Alexander Zverev who earns so much on and off the court that was not that much – I don’t think he will learn the lessons he should have learned.”
Does the ATP have a problem with punishing players?
The Zverev incident is not the only controversy that has surrounded male players of late.
At the Miami Open, rising US star Jenson Brooksby was playing Federico Coria and threw his racquet –– hitting a line judge. However, Brooksby was not disqualified and eventually made it threw to the next round.
Nick Kyrgios is another to make the news recently. The Australian has been fined for multiple outbursts on court in the past and his latest saw him clash with chair umpire Carlos Fernandes, during his fourth-round match against Jannik Sinner in Miami.
Kyrgios called the umpire “embarrassing” and proceeded to smash multiple racquets, before being docked a game. He went on to lose the match in straight sets.
Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg has called on the ATP to do more so that players “get the message” that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable.
Tennis players, PLEASE stop launching projectiles on the court with no regard for the other people on court.— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg) March 24, 2022
And tennis authorities, PLEASE start taking this seriously so that players get the message. Shouldn’t take an eventual, inevitable grievous injury to do that. https://t.co/pIZoeSMLMJ
“Tennis players, PLEASE stop launching projectiles on the court with no regard for the other people on court,” he said.
“And tennis authorities, PLEASE start taking this seriously so that players get the message. Shouldn’t take an eventual, inevitable grievous injury to do that.”
Former US Open winner Andy Roddick also posted a video on social media, which seemingly mocked the ATP and sarcastically explained how to throw a racquet without getting into trouble.
How to throw a racket/hit a ball in anger without getting in trouble ……. pic.twitter.com/NTz2ff55Rw— andyroddick (@andyroddick) March 25, 2022
Roddick has retired from tennis now and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2017.