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By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Monday, January 15, 2024

Alexander Zverev will face a May trial in Berlin to answer allegations of physically abusing his ex-girlfriend.

"The main hearing in the case will begin in May 2024," Berlin court spokesperson Lisa Jani told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle. "We will announce the details in due course."

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Olympic gold-medal champion Zverev, who is not required to be present at the trial though he can be called to testify remotely, is accused of "physically abusing a woman and damaging her health during an argument" in May of 2020 in Berlin.

Last October, a Berlin court issued a €450,000 penalty order against Zverev over abuse allegations that he caused bodily harm to his former girlfriend, Brenda Patea, who is the mother of his child. Patea and her attorneys have spoken publicly on the case.

The amount of the penalty order is determined by both the severity of the crime and the income of the alleged abuser in the case. Issuing a penalty order is not a verdict, but a request for the prosecutor's office to act while sparing Zverev a public trial.

Zverev has repeatedly denied he committed any abuse with his attorney calling the charge "scandalous" and questioning if his client will receive a fair trial.

Asked after his Australian Open opening-round win if he should still be serving on the ATP Player Council and competing in light of the abuse allegations, Zverev suggested he's been a target for some journalists.

"Journalists are saying that, some, who are actually interested more in this story to write about and more about the clicks than the actual truth," Zverev told the media in Melbourne.

The 26-year-old Zverev lodged an objection to the penalty order, which prompted prosecutors to seek the May trial unless resolution is reached before the trial begins.

A guilty verdict on the charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in jail though Berlin court spokesperson Lisa Jani told German broadcaster Deutsche Welle "it's highly unlikely" Zverev will do jail time if found guilty because of the penalty order.

This is not the first abuse allegation Zverev has faced from a former partner.

Ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova detailed instances of physical and emotional abuse she said the Olympic gold-medal champion committed against her during their relationship.

Last January, the ATP announced after a 15-month investigation into allegations by Olga Sharypova that Zverev emotionally and physically abused her during their relationship, it found "insufficient evidence" to support the claims of abuse.

"A major independent investigation into Alexander Zverev has found insufficient evidence to substantiate published allegations of abuse. As a result, no disciplinary action will be taken by ATP," the ATP said in a statement.

The men's tennis association said an independent investigation conducted interviews with Zverev, Sharypova and "24 other individuals" and did not substantiate abuse allegations.

Olga Sharypova, Zverev's ex-girlfriend, alleges Zverev violently abused her during the 2019 Shanghai Rolex Masters tournament.

In her extensive interview with's Ben Rothenberg, Sharypova said she and Zverev argued repeatedly in their hotel room on October 9th, 2019. The German told her not to attend his Shanghai match against Andrey Rublev, Sharypova said.

When he returned from his match on October 10th, 2019, Sharypova said she was getting out of the shower naked when Zverev demanded she leave their hotel room immediately and began berating her.

When Sharypova asked for a little time to get dressed, she said the request sent Zverev into a rage. Sharypova said Zverev repeatedly punched her while she tried to defend herself from the attack.

"He started to punch me, and this time I understand that I can’t be dough for punching," Sharypova told "I was just trying to protect myself. I'm already naked.

"I'm a woman, I don't have much power. And after my shower, I don't have time to get my clothes. I don't feel safe for one second."

Tennis Express

In the aftermath of the ATP statement on the matter, Zverev said the ATP ruling is vindication of his innocence.

“This decision marks a third, neutral, third-party arbiter who has reviewed all relevant information and made a clear and informed decision on this matter in my favor,” Zverev said in a statement issued days after the ATP's January announcement. “In addition to the ATP’s independent investigation, I have also initiated court proceedings in Germany and Russia, both of which I have won.”

“I am grateful that this is finally resolved and my priority now is recovering from injury and concentrating on what I love most in this world – tennis.”

Photo credit: Chengdu Open Facebook