Zverev and Kyrgios pull out of Berlin exhibition tournament

hannahwilks in News 08 Jul 2020
Zverev is eyeing a maiden Slam in New York (Jason Heidrich/Icon SMI via ZUMA Press)

Alexander Zverev was to be the headliner at the Bett1 Aces tournament in Berlin from 13-15 July but has pulled out without explanation.

Nick Kyrgios has also withdrawn from the tournament, as has France’s Caroline Garcia.

The Bett1 Aces tournament will be played at the Steffi Graf Stadium and at the Airport Templehof from 13-19 July. Other players currently listed on the website include retired Tommy Haas, Julia Goerges and Jannik Sinner.

Zverev has come under fire recently for breaching self-isolation guidelines. The 23-year-old was part of the Adria Tour, the exhibition series organised by Novak Djokovic which was cancelled after a slew of positive tests among players and support staff, and issued a statement on Instagram apologising ‘deeply’ to ‘anyone I have potentially put at risk’ and promising to isolate himself – only for footage of him partying in a very crowded club to emerge six days later.

The German player has yet to address that footage or issue another apology, but wrote on Instagram today that he would not be playing the Bett1 Aces event, writing:

‘I have made the decision to stay put and train with my team and not play any organised events at the moment. It’s never nice to miss the chance to play at home, but I will be back soon.’

The announcement followed comments by the tournament director Edwin Weindorfer that he might rescind Zverev’s invitation to participate in the Bett1 Aces, or require him to follow a strict code of conduct while playing in Berlin.

Zverev also confirmed that he has taken a third test for COVID-19 which returned a negative result, and confirmed the news that he was undergoing a trial period working with David Ferrer.

It was reported on Monday that Ferrer, the former world no. 2 and French Open finalist who retired in May 2019, had travelled to Monte Carlo for a two-week trial with Zverev, whose former coaches include Grand Slam champions Juan Carlos Ferrero and Ivan Lendl.

Zverev confirmed that he and Ferrer are undergoing a ‘trial period’, writing:

‘Could not be more excited to get to work. Can’t wait for the tour to be back.’

Kyrgios’s withdrawal from the Bett1 Aces event, meanwhile, was attributed to Australian travel restrictions. The Australian has certainly been vocal in his criticisms of other players who have travelled and participated in exhibitions and specifically called Zverev’s behaviour ‘idiotic’.

Caroline Garcia has pulled out of the tournament due to a foot injury.