Alexander Zverev soars in court, even as abuse allegations persist

Alexander Zverev plays the best tennis of his career. He extended his winning streak to 12 games on Tuesday with a 100-minute clinical ...


Alexander Zverev plays the best tennis of his career.

He extended his winning streak to 12 games on Tuesday with a 100-minute clinical demolition of Sam Querrey, the hard-service American who is always dangerous on hard courts. Zverev is one month away eliminating world No.1 Novak Djokovic in the Olympic semi-final and won the gold in men’s singles, which he followed by winning the Western & Southern Open near Cincinnati, a top-level event on the men’s circuit and the main focus of the US Open.

But as he prepares to face Spaniard Albert Ramos-ViƱolas in the second round of the US Open on Thursday, He continues to push back against allegations of domestic violence from a former girlfriend who has become the elephant of the play, which neither ATP Tour nor Zverev can no longer ignore.

As Zverev’s stature on the pitch has grown this summer, so has the attention paid to the accusations. Last month, ATP executives announced a review of how the tour treats players accused of domestic violence. Zverev went to court in Germany last week to challenge the publication of a lengthy article in Slate which details the accusations of a former girlfriend, Olya Sharypova, a former Russian tennis player, that Zverev abused her Many times.

Sharypova has not laid any criminal charges for the incidents she says took place in 2019.

Zverev, 24, a German, has repeatedly and categorically denied abusing Sharypova. In recent days, he has highlighted the German court’s decision late last week to issue an injunction against Slate and the article’s author, Ben Rothenberg, to publish the allegations without more substantive evidence as a confirmation of his innocence.

Rothenberg is a freelance tennis reporter who writes occasionally for the New York Times. He and Slate said they were standing by the report in the article, which Slate did not remove from its website or block readers in Germany, despite the German court injunction.

“We maintain our fair and accurate reporting based on multiple sources and interviews,” Katie Rayford, Slate’s director of media relations, said in a statement.

The original ruling by the German court, where standards of slander and defamation are higher than in the United States, was far from a final word on the matter.

The hearing in the Berlin court took place without the participation of Slate or anyone except Zverev’s lawyers. The ruling said Zverev’s lawyers made a credible argument that the charges were not true, but the court did not hear testimony from other parties involved, and it is not clear how the ruling will be. applied.

The court, however, accepted his argument that the evidence presented in the article was not sufficient in German law to justify the impact on him. The ruling stated that such an article should be balanced enough so as not to leave the impression that Zverev was guilty of the acts Sharypova accused him of committing.

Sharypova, who was not an accused named in Zverev’s complaint, continued to press charges against him on Instagram after the ruling, writing that she was not afraid of Zverev, his family or his legal team, although she has since deleted the post.

“I told the truth and you are going to court to try to win with a lie?” ” she wrote. “I tried to scare myself, but I have nothing to fear. “

After his first round victory on Tuesday, Zverev said he plans to continue the legal battle to clear his name.

“I think my statement was very, very clear, and I think the German justice system is also very clear,” he said.

“I won’t let that fall on me, and that’s it,” Zverev said of the accusations. “I’m not going to talk about it any further because, to be honest, I’ve been dealing with it for a long time now.”

Days before Slate’s article was published, the ATP Tour announced that it would be reviewing its strategy for dealing with players accused of domestic violence or sexual misconduct. The major North American sports leagues took similar steps years ago.

Critics of ATP, including active players, have long called for similar action from their own association. So far, the ATP has waited for the end of legal proceedings, a process that can take years, before issuing its own penalties or punishments for the players.

Last month, tour leaders said they had commissioned a report from a panel of independent experts to recommend a new policy for more proactive participation.

“Abuse has a profound and lasting impact on millions of victims each year,” said Massimo Calvelli, general manager of the ATP Tour, in a statement announcing the creation of the panel. “When abusive behavior or allegations are linked to a member of the tennis family, it can also impact public confidence in our sport. We recognize that we have a responsibility to do more.

Developing a uniform tennis policy might be easier said than done. Seven major organizations manage the sport. Dozens of players have signed a new player association that Djokovic and others are trying to create. The sport works and players live all over the world, and legal standards differ from country to country, although this may be the main reason for the need for a single abuse policy.

Andy Murray, a former No.1 member of the ATP Players Council and who has pushed for a change in policy, applauded the move on Monday.

“Obviously that was something that needed to change in terms of handling certain situations, I think, this year,” said Murray. “I didn’t really feel like sport really had any kind of a position on it.”

He added, “Let’s see what their suggestions and recommendations are at the end of this. I hope there will be a policy in place at the end.

Zverev said he also supports a new policy on abusive behavior, although he has not committed to participating in an independent ATP Tour investigation that could be included in such a policy.

Amid allegations and legal proceedings, he managed to play the best tennis of his career. Halfway through his semi-final against Djokovic at the Tokyo Games, Zverev ditched caution and began to explode with his serves and returns. Zverev made one of the best players ever to play the game powerless.

He hasn’t given up since, putting on another show on Tuesday against Querrey. He scored 18 aces, won 60 of 74 points on his serve and never faced a break point. He attributed his success on the pitch to his happiness.

“Last year has been very, very good for me,” he said in his post-match television interview on the pitch. “I had a lot of success on the court. I also love life off the court.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Alexander Zverev soars in court, even as abuse allegations persist
Alexander Zverev soars in court, even as abuse allegations persist
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