Alexander Zverev given suspended eight-week ban for hitting umpire's chair

Alexander Zverev has been given a suspended eight-week ban from ATP-sanctioned events following an investigation into his conduct at the Mexican Open last month.

The world number three was thrown out of the tournament after he repeatedly hit the chair of official Alessandro Germani with his racket.

Zverev nearly hit the leg of the umpire in Acapulco and has since apologised to Germani privately.

ATP's senior vice-president of rules and competition, Miro Bratoev, conducted a review into the behaviour of the 24-year-old which was concluded this week.

An ATP statement on Tuesday said: "The review determined that Zverev committed Aggravated Behaviour under the Player Major Offense section of ATP Rules.

"As a result, Zverev has been issued an additional fine of 25,000 US dollars and a suspension for a period of eight weeks from any ATP-sanctioned event.

"However, the fine and suspension are withheld on the condition that, over a probation period ending 22 February 2023 (one year from the incident), the player does not incur a further Code Violation."

Zverev will now be walking on a tightrope with a further code violation for unsportsmanlike conduct or verbal or physical abuse towards 'an official, opponent, spectator or any other person' on-court resulting in an eight-week suspension being implemented, subject to any appeal process.

He has also been fined $40,000 and forfeited his prize money of more than $30,000 for his actions.

Zverev, the 2020 US Open runner up, has until Friday to lodge an appeal but did apologise for the incident that took place on February 23 after a doubles' match alongside Marcelo Melo against Britain's Lloyd Glasspool and Finland's Harri Heliovaara, who won 6-2 4-6 10-6.

He wrote: "It is difficult to put into words how much I regret my behaviour during and after the doubles match yesterday.

"I have privately apologised to the chair umpire because my outburst towards him was wrong and unacceptable, and I am only disappointed in myself.

"It should not have happened and there is no excuse. I would also like to apologise 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'm 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."

Following the shocking incident, Olympic gold medallist Zverev faced calls for him to given a lengthy ban with Serena Williams telling CNN she would be in jail for such an incident and criticised the sport for 'double standards' but the ATP has option for a suspended sentence.

Read more: Roger Federer outlines plans for return later this year

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