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Alexander Zverev in French Open coin toss drama as footage leaves tennis star exposed


Alexander Zverev may have some explaining to do after seemingly changing his mind to win the pre-match coin toss before going toe-to-toe with Alex de Minaur. Zverev ended up sweeping the Australian in straight sets to book his spot in the French Open semi-finals.

The coin toss is used to determine which player will serve the first game of the match. The two-sided coin used before Zverev’s clash with De Minaur had a ball on one side and a racket on the other.

And when the chair umpire asked Zverev which side he would choose, the German clearly responded ‘ball’. A young fan was given the privilege of tossing the coin, and as it rolled over to Zverev’s side of the court, he went to retrieve it.

“You tell me, Alex,” said the umpire. Zverev confirmed it had landed on racket as he walked back towards the net. Given that the German had selected ball, the umpire then turned to De Minaur to ask whether he wanted to serve or receive in the opening game.

But Zverev interjected with: “No, I said racket.” The confused umpire looked in his direction but gave him the choice regardless, and Zverev chose to receive. Whether the 27-year-old deliberately changed his mind midway through the coin toss could remain a mystery.

It’s unlikely to have had a bearing on the outcome of the quarter-final, however, as Zverev stormed past De Minaur to reach the semis with a 6-4 7-6 6-4 victory.

“I’m in another semi-final here which I’m really pleased about,” said Zverev after the match. “Of course, I want to win one. I want to be in the final, that’s my main focus. But I think from the level today, it was a good match for me.”

Zverev will play Casper Ruud, who has reached the last two French Open finals, in a mouth-watering clash on Friday. Ruud has a solid record at Roland Garros but every opponent since Felipe Alves in this year’s first round has taken him to at least four sets.

“He’s a great player,” said Zverev. “Look, he’s made two finals in a row, this is his third semi-final in a row and that speaks for itself. He’s one of the best players on this surface, for sure. I think I will have to play my best tennis to have a chance.”

In contrast to Zverev, Ruud will have enjoyed three full days of recovery time due to Novak Djokovic pulling out of the tournament. The pair were due to meet in the quarter-finals on Wednesday before the Serb suffered a medial meniscus tear.

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