Alexander Zverev’s late arrival for the coin toss before his come from behind first-round win at Roland Garros raised eyebrows in Paris.
The German star’s exchange with the chair umpire led to the 24-year-old sarcastically launching his own boycott attempt after failing to show up on time on court.
The umpire and his opponent Oscar Otte were left standing at the net for a few awkward moments as a late Zverev unpacked his bag and eventually made his way over.
Zverev survives almighty scare
As he approached, the umpire said he was “late again”, prompting Zverev to respond: “You know how Naomi said you could fine her for every single match she is not at the press conference? You can fine me for every single match I’m late.”
Video of the incident suggests the star was joking but his comments come just days after Naomi Osaka declared she will not speak to media at Roland-Garros due to mental health concerns.
Tsitsipas too good for Chardy
Zverev’s behaviour was labelled “graceless” by leading tennis reporter Simon Briggs yet his comeback was anything but, as he rallied back from two sets down to beat Otte 3-6 3-6 6-2 6-2 6-0.
The 24-year-old star said after the match that he was a bit spooked by Dominic Thiem’s first-round loss earlier, in which he was beaten from two sets up.
“You try to not pay too much attention, but you do know the draw. You know who is where. You know that Dominic is one of the best clay court players, especially here,” Zverev said.
Zverev, a two-time Roland Garros quarter-finalist, will next face a qualifier in either Russian Roman Safiullin or Spain’s Carlos Taberner.
For a daily dose of the best of the breaking news and exclusive content from Wide World of Sports, subscribe to our newsletter by clicking here!