Tennis legend Chris Evert has backed Serena Williams’ call on Alexander Zverev and agreed the German’s punishment should have been harsher after lashing out at the chair umpire. The tennis world was in shock after Zverev hit the chair umpire’s stand with his racquet four times, breaking it, after losing a doubles match in Acapulco alongside partner Marcelo Melo. Upon losing a doubles match in Acapulco, Zverev exchanged a frosty handshake with his opponents before proceeding to smash his racquet against official Alessandro German’s chair.
He was later kicked out of the tournament entirely, forfeiting more than $30,000 in prize money, as well paying $40,000 in fines for ‘unsportsmanlike conduct’.
The ATP said at the time Zverev was docked $20,000 each for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct, the maximum on-site penalty for each violation.
However, Zverev was only handed an eight-week ban, which was suspended. He will be able to play at Indian Wells, which is staring this week. Tennis icon Williams hit out at the behaviour earlier in the week and said she would “probably be in jail” if she had conducted herself the same way.