Two weeks ago whilst playing in Acapulco, Mexico, Sascha Zverev vented his anger at an umpire’s chair after a call didn’t goal his way. Zverev was playing a doubles match with partner Marcelo Melo against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara which they lost. Knives were immediately out against the German with the tennis fraternity calling for stiffer punishment. This week the ATP has decided not to ban Zverev but to give him a suspended ban and a suspended fine.That is he will be allowed to play in this week’s Indian Wells tournament. The ban and the fine only come into effect if he commits a similar offense within a year.I am in full agreement of this. Zverev’s behavior was absolutely reprehensible. If you watch the clip, Sascha missed the umpire’s foot by a whisker to convert the situation to an outright assault. What I have against the ruling is not so much the physical part of his actions but the emotional side of it. He called the umpire an F…ing idiot. This is coming from a guy who is supposed to be a role model for up and coming young players not to mention affecting the umpire’s self esteem in humiliating him in public. For that he should have received a one tournament ban. We need to also balance out both sides of the story. Zverev isn’t the first player in history to take aim at the umpire and receive a slap on the wrist.
Back in 2018, Czech player Karolina Pliskova bashed the umpire’s chair in a match with Sakkari in Rome followed by heated exchange with the umpire. She got a fine and wasn’t banned so the ruling isn’t without precedence. What i reckon is people tend to judge violent conduct by make players more harshly than that of a female player because males are seen as more “stronger”. Same reason the police tend to laugh at male victims of domestic violence. So we have to look at the judgement in terms of does the punishment fit the crime. I am leaning towards yes. Why? He was ejected from Acapulco which makes up for the tournament ban i mentioned earlier. We tend to forget who fills the seats in arenas. It is the likes of Sascha who do so their prolonged absence due to bans only hurts the tournament organizers and ATP’s pockets. Serena Williams says if she had done the same thing she would have been on her way to county. Whilst I believe Serena hasn’t been treated fairly in the past, I believe the Sascha judgement has got nothing to do with race. Serena wasn’t banned for her outburst at the umpire at the US Open 2018 final so at least they are consistent with the way they deliver justice. So in conclusion, tennis better move on and let it go and enjoy the rest of the year.