Alexander Zverev put on 1-year probation for outburst in Acapulco

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Tokyo Olympics gold medalist Alexander Zverev was put on probation for one year by the ATP for violently hitting the chair umpire’s stand repeatedly with his racket following a loss in doubles at the Mexico Open.

If Zverev receives a code violation that results in a fine for unsportsmanlike conduct or for “verbal or physical abuse of an official, opponent, spectator or any other person while on-court or on-site,” he will be suspended from ATP events for eight weeks and fined an additional $25,000, the men’s tennis tour announced.

Zverev, who is currently ranked No. 3 and was the runner-up at the 2020 U.S. Open, has until Friday to appeal the ruling of Miro Bratoev, the ATP senior vice president of rules and competition.

Bratoev conducted a review of what happened last month in Acapulco, Mexico, and determined that Zverev committed what is termed aggravated behavior under the major offense section of the ATP rulebook.

The ATP characterized the decision as issuing Zverev a fine and suspension that are being “withheld,” unless his behavior warrants the punishments. The probation ends Feb. 22, 2023 – one year after the episode in Acapulco.

The 24-year-old German, who was the Mexico Open defending champion in singles, was kicked out of the tournament for yelling and cursing at official Alessandro Germani and violently striking the umpire’s chair no fewer than four times.

Just before Zverev and partner Marcelo Melo finished losing a doubles match against Lloyd Glasspool and Harri Heliovaara, Germani gave Zverev a code violation for yelling and swearing while arguing about an opponent’s shot that was ruled in. That set up match point. And once the match was over, Zverev swatted the umpire’s stand.

In Zverev’s first competition since, he won two singles matches to help Germany beat Brazil in Davis Cup action this weekend.

Zverev already has been fined $40,000 and forfeited more than $30,000 in prize money, along with all of the rankings points he earned at the Mexico Open. The ATP said at the time Zverev was docked $20,000 each for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct, the maximum on-site penalty for each violation.

In October, the ATP opened an investigation into domestic violation accusations from a former girlfriend of Zverev.

Alycia Parks reaches 1st WTA quarterfinal in Ostrava

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OSTRAVA, Czech Republic — American qualifier Alycia Parks is having quite the breakthrough tournament in Ostrava.

The 21-year-old Parks earned her first win against a top-10 ranked opponent by beating fourth-seeded Maria Sakkari 5-7, 7-5, 7-5 at the Agel Open on Thursday to reach her first WTA Tour quarterfinal.

The 144th-ranked Parks ousted former No. 1 Karolina Pliskova in the opening round – her first win against a top-20 opponent – and showed off her power by hitting 59 winners against Sakkari, compared to just nine for her opponent.

“I came out here not expecting anything, just playing my game, and it got me through the match,” Parks said.

Parks will next face former French Open champion Barbora Krejcikova, who advanced via walkover when Belinda Bencic withdrew with a left foot injury.

Caty McNally, another American qualifier who is playing doubles with Parks in Ostrava, also reached the last eight by beating wild-card entry Karolina Muchova 6-1, 3-6, 6-1. McNally is also into her first WTA quarterfinal and will face top-ranked Iga Swiatek, who advanced Wednesday.

Djokovic beats Van de Zandschulp to reach Astana quarters

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ASTANA, Kazakhstan — Add Botic van de Zandschulp to the long list of players to have been schooled by Novak Djokovic.

Djokovic eased past Van de Zandschulp 6-3, 6-1 on Thursday in his first career meeting with the 27-year-old Dutchman to reach the quarterfinals of the Astana Open.

Van de Zandschulp earned one break point in each set but couldn’t seriously threaten Djokovic, who is looking for a second straight indoor hardcourt title after winning in Tel Aviv last week.

“(In the) second set I think I started to read his serve better and just started swinging through the court more,” Djokovic said. “Botic is a quality tennis player. When he has time, he can hurt you, so I tried to take away that time from him and I’m very pleased with the way I played, particularly in the second.”

Djokovic will next face Karen Khachanov, who rallied to beat Marin Cilic 2-6, 6-3, 6-3. If the 21-time Grand Slam champion gets past that one, he could come up against fellow former No. 1 Daniil Medvedev. The second-seeded Russian beat Emil Ruusuvuori of Finland 6-3, 6-2 to move one match away from a potential rematch of last year’s U.S. Open final, when Medvedev beat Djokovic to deny his attempt at a calendar-year Grand Slam.

Medvedev will first have to beat Roberto Bautista Agut, who advanced Wednesday.