The expulsion of Alexander Zverev from the Acapulco Open deserved: Rafael Nadal | Tennis News

ACAPULCO: The expulsion of German Olympic singles tennis champion Alexander Zverev from the Acapulco Open for his rude anger was deserved, says Spanish legend Rafael Nadal.
Nadal – playing in his first tournament since becoming the record holder for Grand Slam singles titles when he won the Australian Open last month – added that it was not the ‘Sascha’ (Zverev) whom he knew and with whom he had a good relationship.
World number three Zverev repeatedly smashed his racket against referee Alessandro Germani’s chair and launched a rude rant at the official after he and partner Marcelo Melo lost Tuesday’s doubles match.
The 24-year-old – the defending champion – was later disqualified, further punishment is likely to follow and issued an apology saying his tirade of abuse at Germani was ‘unacceptable’.
“I have a good relationship with Alexander, but in the end the punishment is deserved,” Nadal told a press conference after beating American Stefan Kozlov in the second round of the Acapulco Open .
“You can’t behave like that and I think he knows that.”
Nadal said Zverev’s behavior set a bad example for young people who looked up to tennis stars as role models.
“Unfortunately, the image that Alexandre gave yesterday, exacerbated by his posting on social media accounts that light up the tactile paper, will have been seen by millions of children,” Nadal said.
“They base their attitude on ours and we have to lead by example and show a modicum of respect.”
Nadal – chasing his 91st career ATP title and fourth crown in Acapulco – said every player endures frustrating moments.
“I understand the frustration, I understand that in a moment of anger you can break a racquet,” he said.
“I’m not going to criticize it more than say I don’t like it because I wasn’t raised that way.”
Nadal’s assessment of Zverev’s behavior mirrors that of world number one Novak Djokovic and three-time British Grand Slam winner Andy Murray, who are in Dubai.
Djokovic – who was disqualified from the 2020 US Open for inadvertently hitting a linesman with a ball – said he could not “justify” Zverev’s actions.
Murray speaking after being knocked out of the Dubai tournament called Zverev’s anger “dangerous and reckless”.

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