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Zverev Hit with Suspended Sentence for Mexico Tantrum

INTERNATIONAL: The Russian-German was further punished for his outburst in Acapulco.

World tennis number three Alexander Zverev has been handed a suspended sentence for his violent outburst and subsequent disqualification from the Mexican Open in February, the ATP Tour confirmed.

The German-born to Russian parents raised eyebrows during a meltdown in Acapulco which saw him first fined $40,000 for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct after smashing his racket against umpire Alessandro Germani's chair following a doubles match.

In further punishment for the Olympic gold medalist, Zverev was banned for eight weeks and hit with an additional $25,000 fine which will both be suspended if Zverev does not produce another code violation during a 12-month probation period set to end on February 22, 2023.

"If the conditions are met, the penalties will be formally dismissed following the completion of the probation period," the ATP confirmed in a statement.

"If the conditions are not met, the penalties will be invoked after any appeal process is exhausted," it added. n addition to taking his anger out on his racket and Germani's chair, Zverev also verbally abused the umpire and called him a f**king idiot" over a line call during the match he and partner Marcelo Melo lost to Britain's Lloyd Glasspool and Finland's Harri Heliovaara.

These acts earned 24-year-old Zverev disqualification from the rest of the tournament when he was meant to meet Peter Gojowczyk in the second round of the men's singles.

Instead, Gojowczyk was granted a bye in the event that Rafael Nadal went on to win as Feliciano Lopez and Stefanos Tsitsipas have crowned men's doubles champions.

The ATP said that a review of Zverev's conduct led to the conclusion his behavior was aggravated under its rules, with Serena Williams claiming that she would be thrown "in jail" for a similar outburst.

"There is absolutely a double standard,” Williams said in a CNN interview. "I would probably be in jail if I did that - like, literally, no joke. I was actually on probation once."

"You see that (double standard) when you see other things happening on the tour, like, 'wait - if I had done that? Hmm,” Williams went on. Zverev has also publicly apologized for his Mexican moment of madness in Acapulco and conceded that his behavior was "unacceptable".

"It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behavior during and after the doubles match yesterday," Zverev wrote on social media.

"I have privately apologized to the chair umpire because my outburst towards him was wrong and unacceptable."

Zverev will return to action at the ATP/WTA Indian Wells tournament in California this week where he looks to improve on a Round of 32 exits to Andy Murray last year.

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