ALEXANDER ZVEREV has been cleared of cheating after allegations he used his phone on court.
TV footage shared below showed the German star, 22, rummaging around in his racket bag at a change of ends in his defeat by Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals last night.
It was unclear if it was his mobile, another electronic device or something completely different – with some on social media suggesting it was an instrument to check his insulin or blood sugar levels which he wanted to keep private.
Zverev, the world No7 who was also accused of playing on his phone at last month’s China Open, later claimed it could have been an empty water bottle.
Electronic devices, including phones, are not allowed to be used on court under ATP and ITF regulations to prevent match-fixing and on-court coaching.
But the ATP today confirmed they believed Zverev was not in the wrong and he will not be sanctioned.
A short statement read: “The ATP can confirm that there has been no breach of ATP rules concerning Alexander Zverev.”
When quizzed on the incident in his press conference, the reigningATP Finalschamp claimed he could not have been on his mobile because he did not have it with him.
Zverev –who smashed a ball into a cameraman last month– said: “My phone? My phone was in the locker room, actually.
“My phone was in the locker room. I always leave it there.
“I don’t know what they saw, but it was definitely not a phone.”
Asked what else it could have been, Zverev added: “A water bottle? Empty water bottle maybe?”
Entirely possible that Zverev is indeed using some phonelike-but-not-a-phone electronic device. But if it’s a legal, approved thing, weird to keep it low and hidden and deny any knowledge of the device when asked.https://t.co/1tfW99rcGX
— Ben Rothenberg (@BenRothenberg)November 13, 2019
It’s not a phone, it’s called dexcom and he uses it for measuring his insulin level.
— zverev whore (@hnlldemi)November 13, 2019
It is now understood that the object he was fiddling with was not a banned device but the scrolling motion with his thumb – shown before a graphic pops up on screen – led many to believe he was on his phone.
Footage of a similar incident from last month’s tournament in Beijing was shared on social media last night.
Zverev was thrashed 6-3 6-2 by Greek Tsitsipas at the O2 in London.
But after beatingRafael Nadalin his opening match, Zverev can still qualify for the semi-finals as he looks to defend his title.
In his three previous matches here, Zverev completed the perfect hat-trick of seeing off Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Nadal but he was totally outplayed by Tsitsipas.
However, victory over Daniil Medvedev would guarantee a passage into the final four.
And even if he loses he could still advance, as long as he takes it to three sets and Tsitsipas sees off Nadal.
ATP FINALS LIVE
Nadal must beat Tsitsipas to keep title hopes alive after sealing No1 crown
Zverev added: “I’m in the same situation I was last year, pretty much exactly the same. I lost the second match quite easily and didn’t play my best.
“But my chances are in my hands. I’m looking forward to it.”