Alexander Zverev has made a habit of being late getting ready to start his matches at the French Open - and his third-round match was no different.
Just days after being warned for being late for the start of his opening match, Zverev lost his temper with the umpire for yet another time violation before his second-round contest.
On Friday, he made it three matches in succession with a delay at the start as he kept both the umpire, Carlos Ramos, and his third-round opponent, Laslo Djere, waiting for the coin toss.
No Italians in Turin? Will Sinner and Berrettini qualify for ATP Finals?
With Djere and umpire Ramos standing patiently at the net, Zverev was busy fiddling with his towel, his bag, his racket and his shoe laces in baffling fashion.
"He's late again! What is all this faffing about?" asked an incredulous Jo Durie, on commentary for Eurosport at the time.
- 'Shocked and surprised' - Federer reacts to argument over towel with umpire
- 'Big mistake!' - Wilander defends Federer over towel row with umpire and Cilic
- 'I was waiting for you!' - Federer and Cilic in heated towel row with umpire
Chris Bradnam said: "Well, I think in that second-round match he had a point, because Zverev wasn't serving and when the umpire warned them both, he was at the baseline and pretty much ready to go.
"The whole idea [of the pre-match timing rules] was to get rid of all that faff!"
The sixth seed had got into trouble with the match umpire before his opening-round encounter with compatriot Oscar Otte had even got underway as he strolled up late for the coin toss.
When it was pointed out to him that he was late for another coin toss, the German responded to the umpire and suggested that he should just accept fines throughout the tournament for being late to the coin tosses.
'You know how Naomi said...' - Zverev references Osaka stand in umpire chat
Zverev cited the stand being taken by Osaka, who made the pre-tournament decision to step away from her media duties during Roland-Garros, citing a need to protect herself from the impact the duties have on her mental health. She has since withdrawn from the tournament over the issue.
"You know how Naomi said you could fine her for every single match she is not at the press conference?" Zverev asked the umpire. "You can fine me for every single match I'm late!"
- 'Naughty but it's legal!' - Zverev wags finger at opponent after 'cheeky' serve
- 'What's the problem?' - Tsitsipas in bizarre row with umpire over bag
Then before his second-round match, both he and his opponent, Roman Safiullin, were handed time violations for not being ready to begin the match on time.
'It's bulls***!' - Zverev furious at time violation before match AGAIN
Zverev, who went on to win the match in straight sets, was not in a jovial mood and proceeded he make his feelings well known to the umpire.
Given that Safiullin had the balls in his hand and the onus is traditionally on the server to dictate the pace of proceedings, he clearly felt as though he was not the one holding things up.
"Within four seconds I was here at the baseline," protested Zverev. "I looked at it [the match clock] and within four seconds I was here at the baseline.
I had it last time - and this time it's bulls***. I'm sorry.
As Eurosport's Bradnam explained: "They were both starting so it's a code violation for both players because they were not ready to start within the one minute.
"He was saying, Zverev, that he was at the baseline and ready to play. Why are you giving me a warning? I'm not serving, is what he means."
Annabel Croft, also on commentary for Eurosport at the time, added: "It's kind of quite brave to give him a code violation at that particular moment, isn't it?"
- - -
Watch all the action from the 2021 French Open live on Eurosport, eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app with 13-time champion Rafael Nadal eyeing a remarkable 14th title at his favourite event and 2020 Roland Garros sensation Iga Swiatek aiming to replicate her stunning triumph in Paris.
Raducanu beats Uchijima to reach second round in Seoul
Osaka ends four-match losing streak after Saville retires due to nasty knee injury
Share this article