Former world No. 1 Chris Evert says only criticizing players for their outbursts won't bring us too far as she feels more needs to be done in order to understand what leads to players having emotional outbursts and breaking down on the court.
In recent weeks, there have been several incidents, both on the ATP and WTA Tours. In Acapulco, Alexander Zverev completely lost his cool, called the chair umpire "a f------ idiot" and slammed his racket multiple times on the umpire's chair.
Zverev was put on a one-year probation and handed a $40,000 fine. In Indian Wells and Miami, Nick Kyrgios was handed several fines for his behavior. Victoria Azarenka was visibly struggling in Indian Wells and in Miami she retired her third round match without giving any explanation.
Azarenka, who was criticized by some for basically walking off in the middle of her match, announced a break from tennis in a statement she released shortly after the match.
Evert: I'm concerned, this needs to be addressed
“I don't know any other sport where the athlete abuses the official as much as tennis,” Evert told Eurosport.
“I worry about the behaviour of players and I even worry about breaking down emotionally on the court and walking off in the middle of a match and I worry about the emotional and mental relapses or breakdowns that these players are having.
“I worry about the players. I'm not making any judgments on the players, but it's an area of concern: why are players losing control and breaking racquets and putting others in harm's way? “Why are they breaking down on the court emotionally? It's something that needs to be addressed.
It's something that needs to be talked about. Tennis is a sport and it's not life. I mean even since I've had some health issues, I realize it's a sport. It should be viewed with a different perspective”.