Andy Murray has slammed Alexander Zverev for his outburst against the chair umpire at the Mexican Open on Tuesday, claiming it was “reckless and dangerous.” The Russian lost his temper after losing his match in the doubles draw alongside partner Marcelo Melo.
The world number three has since been removed from the tournament for “unsportsmanlike behaviour,” with his opponent Peter Gojowczyk given a walkover win. Zverev has since apologised for his actions, but is unlikely to get too much sympathy after clearly losing his cool and crossing the line.
The 24-year-old not only hurled verbal abuse at the chair umpire saying “you f****** id***, you f****** destroyed the whole f****** match” but also smashed his racket on his chair. He came close to striking the umpire, who fled the scene as soon as possible.
Murray, who lost in the second round at the Dubai Duty Free Championships, condemned the Russian’s actions despite admitting that he has thrown tantrums on court in the past. He feels Zverev should have avoided smashing his racket that close to the umpire, which could have resulted in bodily harm.
“It was not good. It was dangerous, reckless,” Murray said, as quoted by the Daily Mail. “I understand athletes across lots of sports, can get very frustrated. Certainly me, I’ve not always acted in the way I’d want on the court. I’m certainly not claiming to be an angel. I’m not perfect myself.”
“However, when you’re ripping your tennis racquet right next to the umpire multiple times, you can’t be doing that. I know obviously one of the British guys who was playing, as well, a bit dangerous. It’s graphite flying off the racquet, as well. Yeah, was not good.”
World number one Novak Djokovic, who is playing in Dubai, also condemned Zverev’s actions in Acapulco, but appreciated the Russian’s decision to apologise and regret his outburst. He feels it was the right decision to remove him from the tournament.
“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,” Djokovic said.
“I made mistakes in the past where I’ve had tantrums on the court. I understand what the player is going through. But, of course, I do not justify his actions. He has, with the words that he had in the statement, handled it in a right way.”