Tennis pro Rafael Nadal has said more stringent punishments should be levied in future for abuse of officials on the court.
“It’s so difficult to talk in my position because from one point of view, I have a good relationship with Sascha (Zverev)– I like him and I practice with him very often,” Nadal said.
“I wish him all the very best and he knows that he was wrong, honestly, and he recognized that very early.
“So that’s a positive thing in his side, in my opinion.
“On the other hand … if we’re not able to control and create a rule or or a way to penalise this type of attitudes a little bit in a stronger way, then we as a players, we feel stronger and stronger all the time.
“We need to be a positive example, especially for the kids watching us.
“So from one side, I don’t want a penalization for Sascha because I like him and I have very good relationship with him.
“In the other hand … I’d like to see something harder for this kind of attitudes, not only him, I mean in general terms because this protects the sport and protects the referees.”
Nadal meanwhile is relishing the opportunity of another campaign in the Californian desert, where he has won three times in the past.
The Spaniard has enjoyed a blistering start to 2022, going unbeaten at 15-0 as well as snaffling his record 21st Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.
“It was an unexpected moment for me to be in this position,” Nadal said.
“I’m enjoying it every day and trying to stay with the right attitude to enjoy the fact that I’m playing well and enjoying matches and winning titles.
“I have been able to find a way to adapt my game to what I need to be competitive – some days being more aggressive, some days being more tactical, more defensive.
“Then I have been brave enough to play with the right determination in the moments that I needed.”
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