German Olympic tennis champion Alexander Zverev has been expelled from the Mexican Open in Acapulco after smashing his racket on the umpire’s chair several times and directing a foul-mouthed rant at the official, the ATP announced Wednesday.
“Due to unsportsmanlike conduct at the conclusion of his doubles match on Tuesday night, Alexander Zverev has been withdrawn from the tournament in Acapulco,” the governing body for men’s tennis tweeted.
Zverev — ranked number three in the world — lost his cool when he and doubles partner Marcelo Melo of Brazil were beaten 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 by Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliövaara of Finland.
The 24-year-old defending champion smashed his racket three times just below umpire Alessandro Germani’s feet before taking his seat and then rising again to verbally abuse the official and smash the chair one last time.
He had apparently been irked by a line call during the match.
Zverev had been involved in a marathon first-round singles clash with American Jenson Brooksby that had finished early Tuesday morning — the latest-ever finish to a professional tennis match.
Zverev saved two match points before completing a 3-6, 7-6 (12/10), 6-2 win at 4:54 am local time (1054 GMT).
The first-round tie at the ATP event lasted three hours and 19 minutes.
Zverev’s mood may have been affected by fatigue after another long match in the doubles defeat, but he nevertheless risks further punishment from the ATP.
“If the Senior Vice President Rules & Competition determines that the default was particularly injurious to the success of the tournament or detrimental to the integrity of the sport, he may consider additional penalties (fines and/or suspensions),” reads the ATP rule book.