The German and his Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo lost in three sets to Brit Lloyd Glasspool and the Finnish Harri Heliövaara. The third set tie-break finished 10-6, with Zverev furious over a line-call that would see his opponents gain match point. Heliövaara slammed a forehand cross-court at 8-6 to the onrushing Melo and the ball seemingly clipped the line as it passed the Brazilian. Zverev and Melo were outraged at the decision, as the German tapped beside the line in pure disbelief that the decision didn’t go his way. Lloyd and Harri then won the succeeding point with an ace before all players shook hands amicably.
Zverev then walked straight to the umpire and swung his racket viciously at his chair, dangerously close to Germani’s right leg. Three swipes at the chair were not enough for the world number three, as he got back up from his own to chair to take another punt at the umpire’s, as he calmly stepped down from the high seat. Zverev shouted at fury with the referee, as he accused Germani of “destroying the game.”
Plaudits must be given to Alessandro for his unflappable nature in the situation, as he calmly stepped down from his position and away from Zverev, who at one point seemed dangerously close to not be aiming at the chair itself. Criticisms have also landed at the door of Marcelo Melo, as although he showed through silence in how to accept defeat, he could have done more to quench the rage that Zverev was projecting towards the umpire.
Zverev’s round of 16 singles match against fellow German Peter Gojowczyk was given as a walkover to Gojowczyk, as Zverev had been expelled from the Mexican Open by the ATP, just two hours after the incident for unsportsmanlike behaviour in his intimidating riot. Zverev apologised for his behaviour stating that his ‘outburst’ was ‘wrong and unacceptable’ and that he is ‘disappointed in himself.’ The German claimed to have privately apologised to Germani and that there was ‘no excuse’ for his actions.
Tournament prize money and points will be rescinded from Alexander, as he awaits further possible fines or suspensions from the ATP. The event was a seemingly needless outburst from his perspective, as he had fought in the previous round of the singles tournament to the latest ever finish to a tennis match, as he beat Jenson Brooksby at 4.55am to defend his title. From the perspective of the tennis world, it was a disgusting moment of visual horror.