Pospisil throws tantrum at Miami Open

Pospisil throws tantrum at Miami Open

HEATED. Vasek Pospisil of Canada hits a forehand against Mackenzie McDonald of the United States in the first round of the Miami Open.

Photo by Geoff Burke/USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

Vasek Pospisil suffers an on-court meltdown as the world No. 67 smashes his racket, shouts at the chair umpire, and launches an expletive-laden tirade

Canadian Vasek Pospisil threw a profanity-laced tantrum aimed at the ATP Tour’s chairman during his first-round loss to American Mackenzie McDonald at the Miami Open on Wednesday, March 24 (Thursday, March 25, Manila time). 

The meltdown, which included angrily hitting a ball out of the court and shouting at the chair umpire, began when the world No. 67 smashed his racket on the court late in the 1st set of his 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 defeat.

A verbal abuse penalty on set point then cost him the 1st set and Pospisil launched into an expletive-laden tirade against Gaudenzi, who he said had been “screaming” at him in a meeting on Tuesday for “trying to unite the players.”

“For an hour and a half. The leader of the ATP. Get him out here. Why am I supporting this?” he said to chair umpire Arnaud Gabas, threatening to sue the ATP if he was defaulted. 

Pospisil later apologized for his on-court conduct.

Pospisil’s issues with the ATP came to a head last year when he and world No. 1 Novak Djokovic announced the formation of the breakaway Professional Tennis Players Association (PTPA).

The PTPA was aimed at better protecting the interests of players, they said, but the move met opposition from tennis governing bodies.

Pospisil said his meeting with the ATP had “unnerved” him.

“I want to sincerely apologize for my behavior on the court in Miami earlier today,” Pospisil, who did not speak to the media after his match, said on Twitter. “I disrespected the game I love and for that I am truly sorry. 

“By way of explanation, I felt deeply unnerved during a meeting between players and ATP executives last night, and I underestimated the toll those emotions took on me until I stepped onto the court today. 

“Again, I am sorry for my on-court behavior and the language I used.”

The ATP Tour did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  –