Alexander Zverev has launched his own bizarre boycott at the French Open, refusing to show up on time for the start of his matches.
His comments with the chair umpire before his win over qualifier Oscar Otte on Sunday night has caught the attention of the tennis world after he brazenly said he doesn’t care about getting fined every match for the rest of the tournament.
His comments come just days after Naomi Osaka stunned the tennis world by declaring she will snub press conferences for the entire Roland Garros tournament — a decision which has prompted threats she could be kicked out of the tournament and was fined $19,000 on Monday morning.
Despite Zverev’s coin toss threat raising eyebrows with tennis fans, video of the incident suggests the German was likely having a joke with the umpire.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev. AFP.Source:AFP
Zverev had made his opponent and the umpire wait at the net for an extended period before finally walking onto court.
After being told that he was “late again”, Zverev responded: “You know how Naomi said you could fine her for every single match she is not at the press conference?
“You can fine me for every single match I’m late.”
Zverev eventually battled back from two sets down to beat Otte 3-6, 3-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-0 and reach the French Open second round.
Last year’s US Open runner-up, a two-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist, will next face either Russian Roman Safiullin or Spain’s Carlos Taberner, who are also both qualifiers.
The 24-year-old Zverev was in serious danger of following fourth seed Dominic Thiem out at the first hurdle, but found his groove in the third set and then raced to victory.
It was his seventh win from as many five-set matches at Roland Garros
— with AFP
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