Alexander Zverev apologizes for smashing Mexican Open umpire's chair

Alexander Zverev, the No. 3 ranked player in the world, has apologized for an incident that has already seen him ejected from the Mexican Open.

The German was officially removed from the tournament's singles draw after he repeatedly smashed his racket against the umpire's chair following a 6-2, 4-6, 10-6 loss against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara in the round of 16 in the doubles event.

Zverev's racket did not appear to hit the umpire, but he did approach the man as he exited the chair to castigate him one last time.

The apparent cause of the outburst was a code violation assessed against Zverev for yelling and cursing as he disputed a ruling on a shot, which set up match point for Glasspool and Heliovaara against the German and his partner, Marcelo Melo.

One day later, Zverev posted a statement of apology to his Instagram story, saying he had privately apologized to the umpire as well:

It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behavior during and after the doubles match yesterday. I have privately apologized to the chair umpire because my outburst towards him was wrong and unacceptable, and I am only disappointed in myself. It just should not have happened and there is no excuse. I would also like to apologize to my fans, the tournament, and the sport that I love.

As you know, I leave everything on the court. Yesterday, I left too much. I am going to take the coming days to reflect - on my actions and how I can ensure that it will not happen again. I am sorry for letting you down.

Zverev was the defending champion in the men's singles event of the Mexican Open, but will now see second-round opponent Peter Gojowczyk advance past him in a walkover. Additional punishment also figures to be coming from the ATP, which called the incident "unsportsmanlike conduct" in its statement removing Zverev from the tournament.

Alexander Zverev of Germany hits a return during men's singles first round match against Jenson Brooksby of the United States at the 2022 ATP Mexican Open tennis tournament in Acapulco, Mexico, Feb. 22, 2022. (Photo by Xin Yuewei/Xinhua via Getty Images)
Alexander Zverev is out of the Mexican Open. (Photo by Xin Yuewei/Xinhua via Getty Images)