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By Richard Pagliaro | Monday, October 4, 2021

 
Alexander Zverev

Alexander Zverev is under ATP investigation for domestic abuse claims his ex-girlfriend, Olga Sharypova, says occurred during the 2019 Shanghai Masters 1000.

Photo credit: Getty

The ATP is investigating Alexander Zverev on abuse allegations.

The 24-year-old German is under investigation for domestic abuse claims his ex-girlfriend, Olga Sharypova, says occurred in a hotel room the pair shared during the 2019 Shanghai Masters 1000 tournament.

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The ATP announced its investigation into Zverev saying in a statement that it “fully condemns any form of violence or abuse and will investigate such allegations related to conduct at an ATP member tournament.”

“The allegations raised against Alexander Zverev are serious and we have a responsibility to address them,” ATP CEO Massimo Calvelli said. “We hope our investigation will allow us to establish the facts and determine appropriate follow-up action. We understand Zverev welcomes our investigation and acknowledge that he has denied all allegations.

"We will also be monitoring any further legal developments following the preliminary injunction obtained by Zverev in the German Courts.”




The announcement comes months after several champions, including world No. 1 Novak Djokovic and former No. 1 Andy Murray, called on the ATP to implement a domestic abuse policy as many other major sports leagues already have in place.

In an interview with journalist Ben Rothenberg published by Slate.com in August, Sharypova details episodes of horrific physical and emotional abuse she says Zverev inflicted on her during their stormy relationship.

The abuse Sharypova says occurred in Shanghai came a few months after she says Zverev tried to suffocate her with a pillow in a hotel room during the 2019 US Open. 

Olympic gold medal champion Zverev has repeatedly denied Sharypova's claims that he committed any abuse against her during their relationship.  

"I've always said that the allegations and everything that has been said is untrue," Zverev said at the 2021 US Open. "The court confirmed that. So there's nothing else to say from my side because, as I said, the court confirmed that it's untrue. There's nothing more I can say towards that."

In her extensive interview with Slate.com, Sharypova said she and Zverev argued repeatedly in their hotel room on October 9th, 2019. Sharypova, who is diabetic, said she injected herself with insulin and said she "was barely responsive" when Zverev fed her a package of sugar to revive her before berating her.  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 described a brutal beating claiming 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 Slate.com. "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."

In addition to the physical attack, Sharypova charges Zverev repeatedly told her he hoped she “will die” but “not in my room.”

"He started to say to me these things: 'I hope you will die, you should have died yesterday, but not in my room. If you want to die, you can take insulin and go die in the street because I don't want problems. I don't want to deal with you anymore,'" Sharypova told Rothenberg and Slate.com. "I’m crying. I say, 'OK, if you want me to die, give me insulin, I go to the street, and that's all. I can't hear this anymore, I can’t handle anymore.

"What do you want from me? You want to punch me? You already did.'"

Sharypova also said Zverev summoned his father and coach, Alexander Zverev, Sr., to the room where she says the elder Zverev bullied her, called her thrash and threatened to sue her for assaulting his son—all while she was sitting naked on the hotel room floor.

Zverev and his family have repeatedly denied her claims.

After publication of the Slate interview detailing horrific abuse, Zverev announced on social media he was pursuing legal action both in Germany and the United States.




In response, Slate.com says it stands by the article based on "multiple sources and interviews."




Now, the ball is in the ATP's court though many are wondering: What took so long to act?



The Tour announced an Independent Safeguarding Report, commissioned by the ATP earlier in the season, has been completed. The ATP sayid the report "represents a key element of the ATP’s overall safeguarding review to ensure all adults and minors involved in professional tennis are safe and protected from abuse."

The ATP said it "will now evaluate the recommendations to identify immediate next steps and develop a longer-term safeguarding strategy relating to all matters of abuse, including domestic violence."


 

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