Why Did Zverev Lose it in Acapulco?

AP/Tertius Pickard, file

Why Did Zverev Lose it in Acapulco?

Sascha Zverev completely lost his mind at the end of his doubles match loss in Acapulco.

Upset at the umpire for a bad call, he proceeded to use his racket to smash the chair the umpire was sitting on, narrowly missing his feet. It was a violent display, one which I can’t really recall seeing on a tennis court. Sure, there have been some crazy displays from players like Connors, McEnroe, Agassi, and Kyrgios. However, I have never seen a player get so dangerously close to hurting an umpire.

Zverev apologized afterward. However, it didn’t stop organizers from sending him home before he could take the court to defend his title in his singles match. Now Zverev heads to Indian Wells with this embarrassing episode weighing on his mind.

So, what triggered Zverev? An insignificant doubles loss can’t possibly be the reason. There must be something else weighing on his mind. I suspect it’s the fact that this season has not started the way he had hoped it would start.

Zverev ended 2021 with a bang, capturing the year-end ATP Tour Championships, and entering the Australian Open as a heavy favorite. That narrative was quickly erased with a thorough beating by Shapovalov in the round of 16.

He then continued the form he showed at the end of last year in his next tournament at the Open Sud de France. However, he was thoroughly beaten by Bublik in the final. He then goes to Acapulco, where he plays, and beats Jason Brooksby in a marathon of match, which finished at 5 in the morning.

Mentally exhausted, the very next day he goes on to lose his marbles in his doubles match. Zverev may need to do a quick reset. It happens to the best. The pressure to win and the pressure to deliver week in and week out is sometimes a bit too much.

I suspect Zverev will regroup, maybe find some mindfulness in the California desert, and come back with a bang. Watch out Medvedev. Watch out Djokovic.

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