Mischa Zverev’s Unusual Question

Mischa Zverev

Mischa Zverev played Denis Istomin Wenesday at the 2019 Amex-Istanbul Challenger. The German is in the middle of a disastrous campaign, with only six match wins all year (one of these is over Istomin just three weeks ago in the US Open qualifiers).

The German advanced to the second round when his opponent, Maximillian Neuchrist, retired 2-5 down in the first set.

Taking matters into his own hands

Zverev took the opening set against Istomin after a nerve-racking tie-breaker. Mischa saved three set points and won it eleven points to nine. The second set was a straightforward affair for the Uzbek.

Just before the beginning of the decider, Mischa Zverev came up to the umpire and asked a question. This exact combination of words was probably never spoken on a tennis court before.

“If I retire today can I play qualies on the weekend?”

Zverev is signed up as an alternate for both ATP 250 events next week (St. Petersburg and Metz).  Both these events take place quite far from Istanbul, and going forward would mean the German might not be able to get there on time.

The German kept on talking about the retirement and when he was broken in the third game of the set, everyone knew what was coming. He didn’t want to be there anymore and nothing could stop him.

Should some action be taken against Zverev? Deliberately retiring like that stands against the integrity of a game and is frowned upon in the tennis world. Some might say that it’s the German who earns money on the court and it’s his decision whether he wants to give himself the chance to earn more or not.

However, for the sake of the crowd who came to watch it and the positive image of tennis as a sport, some action should be taken. The most simple and possibly the most effective way would be to ban Zverev from entering the qualifying at either St. Petersburg and Metz.

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