‘We had our ups and downs… but that’s not who I am’: Alex Zverev continues to strongly deny allegations of domestic abuse made by his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova as the World No 7 prepares for the ATP Finals
- Alex Zverev has again denied claims by his former girlfriend of domestic abuse
- Olga Sharypova accused the world No 7 of physical violence during relationship
- Zverev consistently denied allegations but admitted they had ‘ups and downs’
Alex Zverev resurfaced at the O2 Arena on Friday and immediately had to deny allegations that he has been the perpetrator of domestic violence.
The world No 7 is in the field for the ATP Finals, which start on Saturday, and will play in the shadow of accusations from a former girlfriend, Olga Sharypova, that he was physically abusive to her during their relationship, which ended last year.
US Open finalist Zverev, 23, has consistently denied her assertions, although he admitted that they had ‘our ups and downs’.
World No 7 Alex Zverev has again denied claims of domestic abuse made by his girlfriend
Alex Zverev and Olga Sharypova at a gala night during the Laver Cup in Geneva last year
His tennis appears to have been unaffected and last week he made the final of the indoor Paris Masters.
‘I am looking forward to playing, but the last few days the focus has shifted a little bit to the off court,’ said Zverev, who won the London event in 2018. ‘While I very much regret that those allegations have been made, I have to stick to my initial thing of them being untrue and continue to deny them.
‘These accusations are just unfounded, untrue. We had our ups and downs, but the way our relationship was described in the public is not how it was. That’s not who I am, not how I was raised by my parents.
‘It makes me sad the impact that such accusations can have on the sport, on the outside world, on myself as well.
Zverev labelled the accusations against him from Sharypova as ‘unfounded’ and not true
‘I truly apologise that the focus has shifted away from the sport. We all love playing tennis, that is all we are here to focus on.’
The ATP Tour belatedly issued its first official comment on Zverev’s situation on Friday, saying: ‘In circumstances where allegations of violence or abuse are made against any member of the Tour, legal authorities investigate… we then review the outcome and decide the appropriate course of action.’
Zverev will take his place along with the top eight other players who have qualified for the 50th anniversary finals.
Among them will be Rafael Nadal, who explained that Covid protocols are so strict the participants are not allowed to walk to the arena from the hotel, even though it is 200 yards away.
‘I think these are very challenging conditions,’ he said. ‘It’s not perfect but we can play tennis so we cannot complain at all.’
Zverev is in the field to take part in the ATP Finals, which starts on Saturday in London
Jamie Murray and Neal Skupski agonisingly missed out on the last qualifying spot for the ATP Finals doubles event.
The pair won the Sofia Open title on Friday after Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Jurgen Melzer withdrew. That left Murray and Skupski level on points with eighth-placed pair Marcelo Melo and Lukas Kubot — but the Anglo-Scottish duo miss out because they have played three more events than their rivals. They will be first alternates at the O2 Arena.
Putney’s Joe Salisbury will be the only home participant, alongside American partner Rajeev Ram.
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