Gender violence in tennis: the ATP opened an investigation against Alexander Zverev

“The accusations are unjustified and false”, got tired of saying Alexander Zverev, current world number four and last Olympic champion in Tokyo 2020, in respect of the public denunciation of his ex-girlfriend Olya Sharypova. His position was always the same: stand out and deny the facts.

The ATP announced on Monday that it opened an investigation against the German for gender violence. “The allegations brought against Alexander Zverev are serious and we have a responsibility to address them. We understand that the player accepts our investigation and we acknowledge that denied all accusations, said Massimo Calvelli, the general director of the governing body of the men’s circuit.

The 24-year-old Russian had made the decision to narrate, last year, the hell that lived: beatings, threats, emotional damage and even an assassination attempt. “I just want the truth to be known. My only goal is help other people who are in the same situation that I went through and they need strength to survive, “Sharypova told journalist Ben Rothenberg.

After receiving a report for safeguard the integrity of all parties involved, requested earlier this year and carried out by Chris Smart – former Chief Inspector of the UK Metropolitan Police -, ATP decided to move forward with the investigation in a clear change of course.

Previous inaction seemed to denote a lack of commitment to the case. Before consulting Page 12 the official response last year had left a lot to be desired: “The ATP condemns any form of violence or abuse. On the accusations against any member of the Tour legal authorities investigate and due process is applied“. Because Zverev never stopped playing nor did anyone remove him from the circuit. And the difference arose with other sports organizations such as the NFL and the NBA, in which separate the player involved until clarification of the facts.

Sharypova began dating Zverev in September 2018. The relationship lasted just over a year and became more violent every day. Psychological abuse came first and, as time went by, the attacks appeared. “The first time he hit me was in Monaco. We had argued, He hit me against the wall and I lost consciousness. “

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One day Sharypova couldn’t take it anymore: at the US Open 2019 decided to quit and feared for his life. The words speak for themselves: “It was a terrifying fight; he pushed me to the bed, took a pillow and sat on top of me. I couldn’t breathe. I still don’t understand how I escaped. “After that argument, Zverev took her passport and forced her to return. Days later they traveled to the Laver Cup in Geneva, where the German He continued with the mistreatment and even punched him. Sharypova tried the worst: “I tried to kill myself with insulin and I spent three days in bed. “

In that sense, ATP, for the moment, did not announce whether he will examine what happened at the US Open and in Geneva, although it did open another parallel investigation into Sharypova’s complaint regarding the assaults at the Shanghai Masters 1000 of that same year. Beyond the veil that the entire tennis ecosystem, including various media outlets, had placed for long months, the moment came when Zverev will have to explain.

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