Rafael Nadal feels sorry for Alexander Zverev after Mexican Open expulsion

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Rafael Nadal feels sorry for Alexander Zverev after Mexican Open expulsion

Rafael Nadal has expressed sympathy for Alexander Zverev after he was kicked out of the Mexican Open (Picture: Getty)

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Rafael Nadal has expressed his sympathy for Alexander Zverev but admits his expulsion from the Mexican Open was fully merited after he attacked the umpire’s chair with his racquet.

The world No.3 issued a lengthy apology on Instagram yesterday and said sorry in person to the match official, but he is likely to face serious repercussions and there has been widespread condemnation of his actions.

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Nadal is in Acapulco and after easing into the quarter-finals with a straight-sets win over Stefan Kozlov, and was asked about Zverev’s conduct.

Alexander Zverev has been THROWN OUT of the Mexican Open for attacking the umpire’s chair at the end of his doubles match 😮😮😮 pic.twitter.com/CWhQ1r6kwj

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— Amazon Prime Video Sport (@primevideosport) February 23, 2022

The winner of 21 Grand Slams says he has a good relationship with the German, but that there is no place for such acts of aggression and petulance.

‘It’s unfortunate, without a doubt,’ Nadal said. ‘I feel sorry for him as I have a good relationship with Alexander.

‘In the end, he deserves the sanction because you can’t act in this way. I think Sascha is aware of that and I hope this will serve as a lesson for him and for other young players who sometimes lose control on the court.’

There has been suggestions that Zverev could face a suspension and while not being drawn to comment on what sanction is handed down, Nadal felt punishments must be seen to act as a deterrent.

‘I am not going to enter into what is or is not fair in terms of sanction,’ Nadal said. ‘But in the end you have to stop that type of attitude from becoming fashionable.’

Nadal, meanwhile, will next face another American in Tommy Paul, added: ‘Always it’s important to win as quick as possible. But the most important thing is to win. Tonight has been straight sets, that’s great news, and I’ll try to be ready for tomorrow again against a tough opponent.”

The 35-year-old is on course for a semi-final rematch with Australian Open runner-up Daniil Medvedev, who could overtake Novak Djokovic as world number one next week and eased to a 6-1 6-2 victory over Pablo Andujar.

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