Rafael Nadal slams Alexander Zverev as German fined £30,000 and could face tour ban

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Rafael Nadal has slammed Alexander Zverev for incredibly smacking the umpire’s chair three times with his racket at the Mexican Open. Zverev was handed a £30,000 fine after he raged at Alessandro Germani following his doubles loss earlier this week.

World No 3 Zverev was fined £15,000 for verbal abuse and a further £15,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct, the ATP have confirmed.  

The ATP will hold a further review of the incident, which could involve Zverev being handed a ban from the tour.  

The German and doubles partner Marcelo Melo were beaten 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 by Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara. 

Afterwards, he stormed over umpire Germani’s chair and smacked it three times with his racket. 

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Many of his fellow professions, including Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray, have condemned his actions.  

And now Nadal has had his say, telling Zverev that the image he portrayed does not set an example to younger tennis fans.  

“I enjoy good relations with Alexander, but at the end of the day the punishment is deserved,” Nadal said.  

“One cannot behave in this manner and I believe he is conscious of that.”

The Spaniard added: “Unfortunately, the image that Alexander gave yesterday, exacerbated by being posted on social media accounts which lights the touchpaper, will have been seen by millions of children.  

“They base their attitude on ours and we must set an example and show a minimum of respect.” 

Zverev, who has also forfeited his £23,500 prize money having been disqualified from both the singles and doubles events in Mexico, issued an apology on Thursday.  

The 24-year-old insisted there were no excuses for his actions. 

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“It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behaviour during and after the doubles match yesterday,” Zverev said in a statement posted to his Instagram account. 

“I have privately apologised 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 apologise 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.”
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