Alexander Zverev has reacted to being called out by Belinda Bencic on Twitter. The Swiss WTA star tweeted ahead of the Australian Open that she would donate money for every double fault she served throughout the tournament.
But cheekily, Bencic also asked Zverev – who is having a real issue with his serve over recent months – to join her.
She wrote: “Donating for every double fault in the next tournaments @AdelaideTennis @AustralianOpen. Will you join @AlexZverev?”
Zverev’s silence was telling and when he was asked about making donations based on his mistakes he was not keen to get involved.
“Yeah, no. I mean, it was fun and all that, but I think it should be a positive thing, not double-faulting and giving money to it,” Zverev said.
Instead, the German has offered substantial payments to the Australian bushfire relief based on how far he gets in the tournament.
“I think $10,000 a match, then if I win the tournament, giving $4 million Australian to the pledges is pretty generous I hope,” he added.
“We’ll see. I mean, as I said, I just won one match. I hope it comes down to it. If it does, I’ll keep my promise.
“I’ll be happy to kind of feel like I’m a little bit a part of helping out people and helping out the people that actually need the money.
“For me, for us right now, for you, it would be great to have $4 million in your bank account, right? But it wouldn’t move things in the world. It wouldn’t move people.
“I think that kind of money can really support the people in need right now, the people that actually need the support.”
Zverev claims he has wanted to make a positive donation for some time but his poor form has not allowed him the platform to do so.
“I was thinking about it from the ATP Cup. I didn’t win any matches there, so it was tough to say (smiling),” he explained.
“No, but I just generally think, I mean, I’ve said it a lot of times, I’m not a money-driven person. I play the sport because I absolutely love it. I play the sport because I enjoy playing on big stadium courts, I enjoy playing the toughest matches in front of an amazing crowd.
“For me to have the opportunity to do that, I think I’m very fortunate. There is people right now in a country we call home for ourselves for a month basically every single year that not only cannot do the things that they love but also lost their homes, lost sometimes loved ones.
“I just think we as the fortunate people, we as the people that are not as affected in it, should try to help and should try to help in any way possible. Obviously I’m more fortunate than maybe other people are.
“But any cent I think could help, any way possible could help the Australian people, the Australian animals, the Australian nature in general.
“For me, if I win the Australian Open, I will be the happiest person on the planet. I think that the $4 million Australian will be in much better use in the hands that know what to do with it, and know how to help others. For me, my parents always taught me to take care of first of all the ones that you love, but it’s also important to take care of the people that need it more than yourself.
“For me, obviously $4 million is a lot of money. For the people in need, it’s more important right now. So this is a gesture that I thought about for a long time.
“I didn’t win the Australian Open yet, I won one match, but I hope maybe it will get a lot of support and maybe it will come to it. If it happens, I’ll be the happiest person on the planet.”