Alexander Zverev through in Miami but did he escape justice after umpire abuse incident? - UBITENNIS
Connect with us

ATP

Alexander Zverev through in Miami but did he escape justice after umpire abuse incident?

Alexander Zverev’s behaviour has been put in question despite his recent on-court success.

Avatar

Published

on

Alexander Zverev (@Karth_k - Twitter)

Cast your mind back to last month in Acapulco and Alexander Zverev’s name was talk of the tennis world after he was expelled from the tournament, after lashing out at umpire Alessandro Germani, with verbal abuse and attacking the umpire’s chair with his racquet.

 

The fact of the matter is that he was just inches away from Alessandro Germani’s leg and could have caused him serious injury.

Following this incident during the doubles tournament, Zverev was fined $40,000 (£31,000) and lost his prize money in Acapulco.

The ATP after investigating the matter, gave him an eight-week suspended ban and a further fine of $25,000 (£19,000).

For a multi-millionaire athlete, this is mere pocket money.

And to the angst of tennis commentators and fans across the world, this was simply a slap on the wrist.

Tennis legend Mats Wilander said this: “If a player breaks his racquet on the umpire’s chair and is literally a few centimetres away from hitting the umpire’s leg, he should not be allowed to get on a tennis court until he has gone through some kind of rehab.

We need to punish him accordingly, and allowing him to come out and play professional tennis the week after or two weeks after, that is too soon,” the Swede told Eurosport.

The seven-time Grand Slam champion added: “To me, money does not do it, and I think you either give someone with that behaviour a three-month suspension or a six-month suspension.

You do not allow him to play the most important tournaments on his calendar,” he said.

To be fair, Wilander makes some very valid points and that the ATP should be more proactive on serious incidents such as this.

Many across the sport wanted to see a much stronger punishment, for example, a 3-month ban of the entirety of March, April, and May.

Which would have ruled Zverev out of Indian Wells, Miami Open, Monte Carlo Masters, Barcelona Open, Munich Open, Madrid Masters 1000, Italian Open and the French Open.

Or at the very minimum a 2-month ban incorporating the final two hard-court Masters 1000 events (Indian Wells and Miami) and the April schedule.

This would have meant Zverev would miss half of the clay-court season and return at the Madrid Masters in May, which would have been a reasonable outcome.

However, it appears that the world number three has sufficient clout that he has indeed welded to his advantage.

Because on the face of it, he has escaped justice.

The punishment is now financial, which in the grand scheme of things is peanuts to someone earning so much, and continuing to earn a lot by participating at tournaments in March and April that he arguably should not have been permitted to play at.

So, Zverev has effectively won and his behaviour has not had a lasting consequence at all.

An own goal on behalf of the ATP who have again failed to exert absolute authority.

A suspended ban, means that once that two months is up, Zverev can smash his racquet, abuse an umpire again, and another incident can occur, and again nothing will come of it.

For a player so talented, Wilander makes a very assertion regarding the possibility of rehabilitation.

The other scary notion is that the allegations of domestic assault against Zverev to his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova, dating back to September 2020, 18 months ago in New York, uncovered by journalist Ben Rothenberg, could well be true based on what we have seen in Acapulco.

We saw Zverev wield a ferocious temper, and, one that does not help plead his case.

This appeared to be the real him.

Again, this makes the ATP look bad that they have again not reprimanded one of their top players.

At this time, order and authority and judgement is needed now more than ever.

For the sake of Zverev’s own career, he cannot keep being bailed out of trouble or the problem to be swept under the rug.

Lasting fundamental punishment is needed, not a watered-down outcome that promises little change.

Journalist Simon Briggs for The Telegraph said: “You’ve got to ask, what did he need to do to be suspended? Break the umpire’s leg? Draw blood?”

We all know that Zverev comes from a very connected and privileged background but as Serena Williams said, had that been her or anyone else, for example, a much lesser ranked player of lesser influence, they would certainly have had a much greater ban and punishment for the same actions.

Now Zverev is in the quarter-finals of the Miami Open with a top-ten match up against Norwegian, Casper Rudd.

However, his opponent might be right to think, ‘hang on, this match shouldn’t even be happening.’

Whichever way you look at it, Zverev himself will probably admit he is very lucky to be out there competing at such prestigious events.

Let’s hope what happened in Acapulco and other controversies will not see history repeat itself, but with Zverev nothing is guaranteed.

ATP

Novak Djokovic Survives Almighty Sinner Scare to Reach Wimbledon Semis

The dramatic encounter featured a fight back, multiple breaks of serve and even an injury scare.

Avatar

Published

on


Reigning champion Novak Djokovic staged an epic comeback to keep his hopes of winning a seventh Wimbledon title alive after ousting Jannik Sinner in a five-set thriller.

 


Djokovic, who only dropped six games against Sinner in their previous Tour meeting, was forced to battle back from two sets down to prevail 5-7, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2, 6-2, in a roller-coaster encounter on Center Court. The triumph marks Djokovic’s 84th win at the tournament which is the joint-second highest tally in history alongside Jimmy Connors. Only Roger Federer has won more.

“Huge congratulations to Jannik today for a big fight. I’m sure that there are going to be a lot of opportunities for him on the big stage. He’s mature for his age and is already an established top 15 player over the last few years,” said Djokovic.
“He was unfortunate today but he has plenty of time.”

Taking on one of the most promising future prospects of men’s tennis, Djokovic’s latest encounter was a match of two halves. Initially, he appeared as if he would suffer a shock loss to world No.13 before he managed to conjure up an emphatic comeback. Breaking Sinner’s spirit who was bidding to become only the third Italian man to reach a Wimbledon semi-final in history.

“We had two different matches. He was the better player for two sets. (Then) I went out for a toilet break, had a little pep talk (with myself) in the mirror,” the 20-time major winner revealed.
“Sometimes in these circumstances where not much is happening positively for you on the court in terms of tennis. These things are necessary – a little break and pep talk to try to recuperate.’
“I was fortunate to start well in the third set by breaking his serve and that gave me the confidence boost. I saw a bit of doubt in his game and my experience of these kinds of matches helped me.”

The first set was a roller-coaster encounter between the two tennis titans on Center Court. Reigning champion Djokovic started out guns blazing by winning seven points in a row before Sinner got onto the scoreboard after prevailing in a 17-shot rally. The top seed looked to be in full control until a double fault on break point enabled his rival to bounce back. Continuing to play some inspired tennis with blistering shot-making, a cross-court winner enabled the Italian to break once again and this time had the chance to serve the opener out. A task he passed with flying colors.

Continuing to take his game to Djokovic, Sinner appeared unfazed about trying to become the youngest men’s semi-finalist at SW19 since 2007. Producing powerful hitting from the baseline, the 20-year-old extended his lead two games into the second frame. A stunning backhand volley followed by a Djokovic error elevated him to a 2-1 advantage. Spurred on by the crowd, the unprecedented onslaught continued with the help of some costly errors from the Serbian. He sealed the double break with the help of a successful Hawk-Eye challenge before securing a two-set lead in his favor with the help of a 122mph service.

Facing a swift exit, Djokovic once again illustrated the fighting spirit that he is renowned for. Capitalizing on a blip in form from Sinner, he cruised through the third set to resurrect his chances. 

Steaming rolling his way into a decider, Djokovic continued his dominance during the fourth frame by winning four straight games. However, closing that set out was full of drama. First, Sinner suffered an injury scare after going over his ankle before continuing. Then Djokovic fended off a break point and squandered two set points before closing it out. 

A stunning sliding passing shot in the decider set Djokovic up with a chance to break and move to a game away from victory. Something he did with the help of a Sinner error which the Italian instantly regretted by putting both his hands on his head. After that mishit, Djokovic ended the clash with a love service game. 

“I’ve been blessed to play professional tennis for 20 years but nevertheless I go through those doubtful moments like everybody else. The inner fight is always the biggest fight. Once you win the fight the external circumstance is more likely to go in your favor. I knew I could turn this match around. I have done that a few times in grand slams.” Djokovic concluded.


 

Continue Reading

ATP

(VIDEO EXCLUSIVE) Why Rafael Nadal Faces His Biggest Test Yet

Tennis Hall of Famer Steve Flink joins UbiTennis to reflect on the highs and lows of day 8 of Wimbledon.

Avatar

Published

on

Will the upcoming quarter-final be Rafael Nadal’s hardest match yet? How will Nick Kyrgios’ shoulder recover?

 

The second Monday at Wimbledon was one full of intrigue in the men’s draw. Whilst on the women’s side, Simona Halep was in impressive form against Paula Badosa but tennis commentator Flink explains why he thinks her upcoming clash with Amanda Anisimova will be tougher.

Alongside Ubitennis CEO Ubaldo Scanagatta, Flink also looks at Jannik Sinner’s chances of causing a huge upset against reigning champion Novak Djokovic. 

Continue Reading

ATP

WIMBLEDON: Rafael Nadal Coy Over New Injury Speculation

After the foot problems in Paris, there is a strong possibility the Spaniard could be experiencing another injury issue.

Avatar

Published

on

image via twitter.com/atp

There are fresh concerns surrounding Rafael Nadal after he declined to go into the reason why he was wearing abdominal taping during his fourth round match at Wimbledon. 

 

The 22-time Grand Slam winner was seen wearing some kind of protection in the abdominal area after changing his t-shirt during one of the breaks. In recent weeks Nadal has been dealing with physical issues due to a long-term foot condition he has. At the French Open he revealed that he had to undergo injections in order for him to continue playing en route to winning the tournament for a 14th time.

Playing 21st seed Botic van de Zandschulp, Nadal battled his way to a 6-4, 6-2, 7-6(6), win. Speaking to reporters after his latest win at The All England Club, the Spaniard sidestepped a question about a potential abdominal problem he could be experiencing. 

“I am a little bit tired of talking about my body. It’s not that I don’t want to answer your question, but at the same time sometimes I am tired of myself, all the issues that I am having. I prefer to not talk about that now,” he replied.
“I am in the middle of the tournament and I have to keep going. All respect for the rest of the opponents. I am just trying my best every single day. For the moment I am healthy enough to keep going and fight for the things that I want.”

Continuing to stay coy about his form and health, Nadal offered an alternative perspective when asked if he was nearing his best level once again. He has dropped just two sets in four matches played so far at Wimbledon which is his first grass-court event since 2019. 

“It’s always the same here. It’s not about how close I am to the level or not. I don’t know that. I can’t predict what can happen.” He said.
“But the positive thing is the first two matches haven’t been good. Then two days ago I played at a high level for the first time. And today most of the matches, again, at a very positive level.”

The straight sets scoreline failed to tell the true story of Nadal’s roller-coaster win on Center Court. Taking on Zandschulp, a player who burst onto the main scene last year by reaching the US Open quarter-finals as a qualifier, the 22-time major champion engaged in a match of two halves. Nadal looked on the verge of an easy victory after breaking once in the first set, twice in the second and storming to a 5-2 in the third. However, the Dutchman refused to go down without a fight by displaying his best tennis of the match to draw level. 

Now engaged in his first real test, Nadal was under intense pressure to close it out in three. If he didn’t there would have been an inevitable delay for the roof to come on due to poor light. If that occurred, there would be less than two hours of play left before the 11pm curfew began.

Nevertheless, Nadal didn’t need the roof as he squeezed through the tiebreaker. After squandering three consecutive match points, he prevailed on his fourth with the help of a lob that triggered Zandschulp to smash the ball out. 

Nadal is through to his 47th major quarter-final and is only the third man in the Open Era to do so at Wimbledon after celebrating his 36th birthday. In total, he has won 309 main draw matches at Grand Slam tournaments.

In the last eight, the Spaniard has a shot of revenge when he takes on Taylor Fritz who ended his 20-match winning streak earlier this year in Indian Wells. During that match, Nadal had a rib injury and he had beaten the American earlier that month in Mexico. 

“That last match (in Indian Wells) was zero because I had a stress fracture on my rib, and it was difficult to learn many things because the pain was terrible playing that match.” He said. 

As for Fritz, he believes their upcoming clash will be at a higher standard given the form both players are currently in. Fritz is currently on a eight-match winning streak after recently claiming the Eastbourne Open title. 

“It’s going to be a lot different match obviously. Indian Wells was kind of crazy with both of us being extremely beaten up before the final. This time I think we’ll get healthier versions of both of us, we’ll see.” Fritz previewed.

The question for nadal, is how healthy is the current version of him really is? Only time will tell. 

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending