Alexander Zverev accused of 'cheating' Alex de Minaur amid 'awful' Coco Gauff drama at French Open

Gauff was reduced to tears as video emerged of Zverev's dodgy actions against de Minaur.

Extraordinary vision has emerged of the moment Alexander Zverev seemingly lied about what he called during the coin toss before his match against Alex de Minaur at the French Open. De Minaur bowed out in a straight-sets loss to Zverev in the quarter-finals - which marked his best result at grand slam level.

But controversy has since erupted over Zverev's actions before the match even got underway. Eagle-eyed (and eared) fans noticed Zverev appeared to hoodwink the umpire into thinking he'd won the coin toss - when in fact he hadn't.

Video is doing the rounds on social media that shows Zverev calling 'ball' when given the choice between 'ball' and 'racquet' when a young girl flips the coin. The coin landed on the 'racquet' side, and the umpire initially asks de Minaur if he would like to serve or receive first.

Coco Gauff, Alexander Zverev and Alex de Minaur at the French Open.
Coco Gauff (L) burst into tears during an argument with the umpire, while Alexander Zverev (centre) was accused of lying during the coin toss against Alex de Minaur (R). Image: Getty/Eurosport

But in bizarre scenes, Zverev interjects and claims he called 'racquet' when he actually called 'ball'. After some confusion the umpire takes the German's word and Zverev chooses to receive first. De Minaur didn't appear particularly perturbed, shaking his head and laughing off the incident.

And while the strange moment wouldn't have had any bearing on the outcome of the match, fans were left questioning why Zverev would seemingly lie. The World No.4 was accused of 'cheating' and 'poor sportsmanship', however some suggested he might have been so focused on the match that he couldn't remember what he called or legitimately thought he said 'racquet'.

Zverev will face Casper Ruud in the semi-finals after ending the dream run of de Minaur. The Aussie star had become the first Australian man to reach the quarters at Roland Garros since Lleyton Hewitt in 2004, but he couldn't get past Zverev.

It wasn't the only controversy to erupt at Roland Garros on Thursday, with Coco Gauff reduced to tears during her semi-final loss to Iga Swiatek after a contentious umpiring call went against her. The American missed a return while up 2-1 in the second set, but the line judge called 'out' anyway and Gauff thought she won the point.

But the decision was reversed by the chair umpire, who called the ban 'in' and awarded the point to Swiatek. Gauff felt the point should have been replayed because the line judge made his call after she played her shot, but the umpire disagreed.

Coco Gauff, pictured here during her loss to Iga Swiatek at the French Open.
Coco Gauff had a heated exchange with the chair umpire during her loss to Iga Swiatek at the French Open. Image: Getty

Gauff burst into tears during an argument with the umpire, and boos rained down from the Roland Garros crowd. "Are you serious?! He called it before I hit it," she protested. "They are booing because you know you are wrong. He called it before I hit the ball. I have the right to finish my swing. You are wrong, and it's the second time it has happened. It is a grand slam semi-final, know the rules of the game."


In commentary for Eurosport, American great Chris Evert said: "She is right, by the way. Coco Gauff is right, absolutely. She would never, ever tell a lie to the umpire. She is crying. That is awful, awful officiating, the umpire's decision. She is saying that she had a play on it."

Gauff managed to recover to win the game anyway, but eventually fell to a 6-2 6-4 loss. The 20-year-old called for tennis to implement more video technology in her post-match press conference.

"Tennis is the only sport where not only we don't have the video review system, but a lot of times decisions are made by one person," she said. "In other sports there are usually multiple referees making a decision.

"I know the US Open brought some of it last year. I know we used it in our doubles at one point. I definitely think it's almost ridiculous we don't have it. Not just speaking because that happened to me, but I just think every sport has it."