Alexander Zverev Indian Wells Masters 2021

‘Atrocious and horrible!’ – Slam legend suggests Alexander Zverev be banned from playing

Mats Wilander lambasted those who unleash their frustrations on their rackets, calling such actions “atrocious and horrible” and feels Alexander Zverev should receive a harsher punishment than a suspended ban as “life doesn’t work like that.”

Since the new season began, there has been an unexpected increase in racket abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct offences.

Amongst those to have committed such offences are US Open champion and World number two Daniil Medvedev, World number five Alexander Zverev, Australian Open doubles winner Nick Kyrgios and American youngster Jenson Brooksby.

Whilst many argue that emotions running high is part-and-parcel of all professional sports, others have argued that stricter punishments need to be branded in order to deter others from committing further actions.



21-time major titlist Rafael Nadal recently called for an end to such actions before something major occurs, whilst US Open great Tracey Austin urged the ATP to crack down on such offences. The ATP promptly did so and launched an internal review of their rulings.

Now, seven-time Slam great Mats Wilander has reiterated his position and feels that Zverev should face a ban for his dangerous Mexican Open outburst.

In an interview with Eurosport,Wilander said “in tennis you learn how to behave properly, you learn how to call things out that are close and call them in, you make your own calls, you call the score out.

“It’s just a game where you learn a lot about life and rules and these guys are taking it to a complete different level.

“And I do know from Lleyton Hewitt telling me that every kid in Australia basically, is doing what Nick Kyrgios does.

“I’m not saying they’re throwing rackets and whatever, but they hit the ball like Nick Kyrgios and that’s bad enough in a way because Nick is so talented, but he doesn’t use his feet at all in any of his shots. He just slaps it with his arm.

“And they look up to these guys. So I think it’s atrocious.

“I actually think it’s horrible. I think breaking a racket on a tennis court is the lowest for me because most kids, they cannot afford to buy tennis rackets.

“I think it’s completely wrong. That’s why I asked: I think Zverev needs to be not on probation, he needs to be taken off the Tour for a month, two months, maybe it’s the first Grand Slam, maybe it’s the first ATP Masters 1000 but something that hurts him rather than just be able to not do the same thing again and then I’m fine.

“It doesn’t make sense. Life doesn’t work like that.”

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Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.