World number three Alexander Zverev crashed out of the ATP Indian Wells Masters on Sunday, beaten in his opening match 6-2, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2) by 39th-ranked American Tommy Paul.
The 24-year-old Olympic gold medallist from Germany was playing his first tournament since he was disqualified from the Mexico Open in Acapulco after losing his temper and repeatedly smashing his racquet against the umpire’s chair.
Zverev was fined $40,000 for verbal abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct. A further $25,000 fine and an eight-week ban followed, but both were suspended provided he does not incur a further code violation for 12 months.
After dropping a first set, in which Paul mercilessly punished his second serve, Zverev leveled the match with the only break of the second set in the 10th game.
After holding his serve to love three times and breaking Paul in the sixth game of the third set, Zverev appeared to on his way to victory.
But the German immediately gave the break back with a disastrous game that featured four double faults.
Paul took the set to a tiebreak that he dominated with the same aggression he showed in the opening set.
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