The ATP have launched an investigation into the domestic abuse allegations against Alexander Zverev. After the allegations were first brought to light nearly 12 months ago, there has been growing anger in some quarters around the ATP’s silence and lack of action on the matter. However, a new independent safeguarding report has now been published which the ATP is currently reviewing, whilst the aforementioned investigation has been launched in parallel.
Last year, Zverev’s ex-girlfriend, Olga Sharypova, accused of him of domestic abuse throughout their relationship. Since then, she has met with journalist Ben Rothenberg on two occasions, detailing her story. Multiple traumatic events she discussed took place during ATP tournaments, including at the Laver Cup where an event official reportedly had to get involved.
The Laver Cup Twitter account subsequently blocked anyone who mentioned the Zverev allegations during this year’s competition, with Zverev featuring prominently in marketing material released by the Laver Cup. Zverev, for his part, has issued blanket denials of the allegations and also claimed that a court has already said he’s innocent, though there has been no trial. Although few players or officials have spoken out publicly, there can be little doubt that this has been a torrid issue for tennis over the last 12 months.
However, the ATP look to have finally turned a corner and there are encouraging signs that they are taking this matter more seriously. ATP CEO Massimo Calvelli stated that: “The allegations raised against Alexander Zverev are serious and we have a responsibility to address them. 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.”
The specific allegations that are being investigated took place at the 2019 Shanghai Masters, which is where Sharypova claims the most serious abuse occurs. Hopefully this investigation can finally mean positive change for tennis. For too long, the silence from officials have kept what are very serious allegations about a leading ATP player shrouded in mystery – which is hardly an acceptable state of affairs. One can only hope this investigation is a step towards uncovering the truth and determining what the next steps are.
The allegations raised against Alexander Zverev are serious and we have a responsibility to address them. 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.