Rafael Nadal wanted Alexander Zverev to be punished severely after ’embarrassing’ meltdown

We use your sign-up to provide content in ways you’ve consented to and to improve our understanding of you. This may include adverts from us and 3rd parties based on our understanding. You can unsubscribe at any time. More info

Rafael Nadal admitted he wanted Alexander Zverev to be punished severely following his “embarrassing” meltdown at the Mexican Open in February. The duo are set to go head-to-head in the French Open semi-finals on Friday afternoon.

Zverev is known for being hot-tempered on court and caused a huge scene in Mexico earlier this year. The 25-year-old lost his cool moments after he and Brazilian partner Marcelo Melo had lost 6-2 4-6 10-6 to Britain’s Lloyd Glasspool and Finland’s Harri Heliovaara in the doubles tournament in Acapulco. The German repeatedly smashed his racket against the umpire’s chair as he unleashed a torrent of verbal abuse on the man who had overseen the match.

Zverev was fined £31,000 for his actions and kicked out of the Mexican Open singles tournament ahead of his scheduled second-round match against Peter Gojowczyk. The 25-year-old was then given a further eight-week ban and £19,000 fine, which were suspended for a year.

And in March, Nadal suggested that Zverev had got off lightly. “I have a good relationship with Sascha,” Nadal told reporters. “I like him, I practise with him very often, so I wish him all the very best. And he knows that he was wrong and he recognised that very early and that’s a positive thing.

JUST IN: Nadal receives classy message as French Open king nears more history

“On the other hand, if we are not able to control this type of attitude on court, not just this one instance in particular, there has been other stuff going on in the last couple months. If we are not able to penalise these types of attitudes in a little stronger way, then we as players will feel stronger and stronger all the time. In this sport, we have to be a positive example, especially for the kids.”

Nadal’s comments had come after Zverev had himself admitted his behaviour wasn’t something he was proud of. “It still is embarrassing for me now,” he told reporters in California during the Indian Wells tournament. “Walking around the locker room, it’s not a nice feeling.


“But we all do mistakes. I’m also a human being and I can guarantee you I will never act this way again in my life. It was definitely the worst moment of my life. If I do that again, they have every right to ban me – it’s as simple as that. If I do that again, it means I haven’t learnt. I think everybody in life deserves a second chance but if you repeatedly do mistakes it means that you haven’t learnt.”

Nadal set up his Roland Garros clash with Zverev after defeating Novak Djokovic in four sets in the quarter-finals. Zverev, meanwhile, also took four sets to get the better of his opponent Carlos Alcaraz in the last eight. And the winner of the semi-final will face either Casper Ruud or Marin Cilic in Sunday’s final.

Source: Read Full Article