American tennis legend John McEnroe has offered his thoughts on some of the most popular on-court incident in recent years, stating that even he couldn't understand what was going through Alexander Zverev's head when he slammed his racket multiple times on the umpire's chair in Acapulco.
At the US Open in 2020, Novak Djokovic was defaulted from his round-of-16 match after hitting a line umpire with the ball. During a 2017 Davis Cup match, Denis Shapovalov launched the ball in frustration and the ball hit chair umpire Arnaud Gabas.
Earlier this year in Acapulco, Zverev called the chair umpire "a f------ idiot" and slammed his racket multiple times on the umpire's chair after the match. "They are terrible today! It is necessary to look at each case individually," McEnroe told UOL Sport, as revealed on Sportskeeda.
"With Djokovic, it was an accident. And so it was with Shapovalov [when the Canadian hit a chair umpire in the eye]. It was stupid. You're looking for trouble if you hit the ball out of frustration like that. I did this many times.
I was always trying to hit the grid at the back of the court and not a human being. You're in trouble if you do. Zverev lost his mind. I don't know what he was thinking as he slammed his racket into the referee's chair."
McEnroe: Still, players nowadays behave much better
McEnroe was known as a great tennis player but also as someone who could easily get irked and completely lose his temper. "In general, they behave much better (laughs)," McEnroe continued.
"When I played, me, [Jimmy] Connors and [Ilie] Nastase were like the patients running the asylum! That's why they made the rules stricter. In a way, I'm happy - I'm not saying that they (current players) shouldn't be punished, especially Zverev.
I don't know what he was thinking. But generally speaking, I think it's better for players that they show emotion. Honestly, we need more of this. We just need them to do it right."