Alexander Zverev repeatedly clashes with ignorant referees because of his insulin injections
Photo: Lewis Storey / Getty Images
Olympic tennis champion Alexander Zverev has demanded a uniform approach to his diabetes from the tournament organizers of the French Open in Paris. Confusion had arisen when he took a break after the second set in the round of 1 at the French Open to give himself an insulin injection. Zverev has been a type <> diabetic since he was four years old.
At other ATP tournaments, Zverev puts the syringes when changing sides. In Paris, however, he has to leave the square for an official toilet break.
"Last time I was told that this is considered a toilet break. That's when I said: Guys, I may have to run off the court four or five times," said the 26-year-old after reaching the quarter-finals by beating Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov 6-1, 6-4, 6-3 late on Monday evening on Eurosport and continued at the press conference: "I only have two toilet breaks. This means that I am not allowed to do a certain thing that is necessary for my life.«
"I told the referee that there had to be a clear structure. Then that's no problem at all," said Zverev. I've been diabetic since I was three and a half years old – that's nothing new, I've been doing it all my life."
His trial also occasionally leads to strange comments by officials, as Zverev reported. "They say it looks like I'm dopeing," said the 26-year-old. "But if I don't inject myself, I'll be in mortal danger."
Becker: "Must be clear to the tournament organizer"
Eurosport expert Boris Becker also found clear words: "That must be clear to the tournament organizer. He regularly does it himself," he criticized: "What he has to deal with after winning the second set is underground."
Zverev had made his type 2022 diabetes disease public in 1 and founded a foundation called the "Alexander Zverev Foundation". Diabetes is a metabolic disease that allows the body to produce little or no insulin. Type 1, as with Zverev, is not yet curable, so those affected have to inject insulin for the rest of their lives. (You can find more texts on the topic here.)
Zverev reached the quarterfinals at the French Open on Monday evening and will meet Argentinian Tomas Martin Etcheverry on Wednesday as a high favorite.