Zverev Responds To 'Free Palestine' Protest That Disrupted His Australian Open Match

Zverev Responds To 'Free Palestine' Protest That Disrupted His Australian Open Match

by Jordan Reynolds

Alexander Zverev has spoken about the protest that delayed his 2024 Australian Open contest with Cameron Norrie.

Zverev was competing in the fourth round against the Brit on the Margaret Court Arena in the hope of reaching a third quarterfinal at the opening Grand Slam of the year.

The 2020 US Open finalist succeeded in doing that. Zverev beat Norrie in five thrilling sets in what was one of the best matches of the tournament. Yet, the encounter has been somewhat overshadowed by a protest.

In the middle of the third set, a 'Free Palestine' protester disrupted the play by throwing pamphlets in the direction of the play. This caused shock, with those inside the stadium not knowing how to react at first.

There was a somewhat surprising lack of security at the Margaret Court Arena, and it was fellow spectators who took it upon themselves to escort the person involved out of the stadium.

Zverev was asked about the incident in his press conference, and he admitted he did not know what it was about at first.

"No, I mean, I saw it. I don't know what it was about. I heard same thing happened in JCA or Kia Arena or something like that. We were not the only court."

The German was then informed that the protest was a pro-Palestinian one. He elected to give a diplomatic answer and did not clearly agree or disagree with the protester's actions or her cause.

"There's obviously a lot going on in the world and a lot of bad things happen. I understand some people are frustrated. Of course, a tennis match has nothing particularly to do with it. I understand both sides here."

Nevertheless, the 26-year-old did enough to refocus and win a very tight match. Zverev will play Carlos Alcaraz next in the quarterfinal.


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