Alexander Zverev has taken aim at security at the Australian Open, bemoaning how long it took for a protester to be removed on Monday compared to the strict regulations around players accessing player areas. Zverev was in action against Cameron Norrie on Margaret Court Arena when a protester started throwing pamphlets onto the court.
In bizarre scenes, it took some fellow spectators to remove the protester because security were nowhere to be seen. Ball kids were then forced to pick up the pamphlets and remove them from the court, before Zverev went on to claim a thrilling 7-5 3-6 6-3 4-6 7-6 (10-3) victory.
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But the German sixth seed was far from impressed with the response from security, comparing it to how tight they are in terms of who can access the player areas at Melbourne Park. As we've seen a number of times over the years, security will only allow access to players and coaches if they have their accreditation.
“The security here, I mean, on-site where the players’ area is, is extremely strict,” Zverev said in his press conference. “Even today, I played obviously five sets, four hours, some minutes. I went to the locker room, and the gym area is right next to the locker room. They wouldn’t let me into the gym because I forgot my credential in the locker room.
“What are you doing? You’re protecting players from players. That’s not really the whole point. Something like this happens and it takes three, four minutes for somebody to show up. I think that should be the opposite.
“It should be where it’s already the quarter-finals and you know the players. Especially there’s obviously screens and TVs everywhere in front of all the security guys, if you’ve seen somebody play for four and a half hours, it’s OK to go stretching in the gym, even if you forgot your credential. That’s not sounding arrogant. I understand they’re all doing their job.”
Federer, Nadal and Sharapova all in similar situation before
The only trouble with Zverev's comments is they are completely arrogant. As we've seen in the last few years, even the likes of Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Maria Sharapova are treated the same as their lesser-likes in terms of having to show accreditation.
— John Horn (@SportsHorn) January 16, 2019
Security guards are simply doing their job and acting on orders from higher up. Zverev's response came in complete contrast to how Federer acted in a similar situation at the Australian Open in 2019.
Cameras captured the moment a security guard asked Federer for his accreditation, but the Swiss legend didn't have it on him. Rather than kick up a stink, he respected the process and simply waited for his coach to arrive with the correct pass.
Even Roger Federer has to follow the rules.
Security wouldn't let Federer pass because he didn't have his credential 😂 pic.twitter.com/Wi8VeQkcd1
— ESPN (@espn) January 19, 2019
Sharapova was also asked to show accreditation at Melbourne Park that same year, and didn't have any qualms about flashing her pass. Nadal was been caught on camera in the same situation twice in the last few years - at the Australian Open in 2020 and the Paris Masters in 2022.
— Eurosport (@eurosport) January 29, 2022
The Spaniard's actions probably left a little to be desired, as he managed to pull the "don't you know who I am" card on both occasions. Perhaps Zverev could learn a thing or two from the previous instances.
Throwback to when a security guard could not recognize Rafael Nadal at the 2017 Paris Masters 😄 pic.twitter.com/8lB41jEZkv
— Luigi Gatto (@gigicat7_) October 27, 2022
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