With a win in his semifinals match at Ny’s Arthur Ashe Stadium on Friday, Novak Djokovic is one step nearer to worthwhile a Grand Slam at this yr’s U.S. Open. However the stakes have been even greater for Djokovic’s competitor, Alexander “Sacha” Zverev: regardless of a loss to Djokovic Friday Evening time, the 24-yr-previous tennis star stays the inheritor-apparent to the singular stardom loved by legends like Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. However Zverev’s ascendency — he gained a gprevious medal Inside the Tokyo Olympics final month — has renewed scrutiny of home violence accusations diplomaed by his ex-girlfriend.
It additionally raises new Questions on whether or not the Affiliation of Tennis Professionals (ATP) bungled its dealing with of these allegations, two of which have been said to have taken place at ATP event web websites. Now, A minimal of Definitely one of Zverev’s colleagues on the tour is slamming the tennis group’s misdealing with of the events, and elevating Questions on whether or not its failure to take them critically is doing damage to The sport at huge.
“I’m embarrassed and dissatisfied Inside the ATP and The completely different governing our bodies’ response to This event,” Canadian star Milos Raonic, a former Prime 3 participant On the earth, tells Rolling Stone.
Zverev’s ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova, who competed in Worldwide Tennis Federation junior circuit matches as a teen, first accused him of abuse in an October 2020 interview with Russian internet website Championat. She went on to element her allegations in the direction of Zverev to reporter Ben Rothenberg in a pair of tales revealed by Racquet and Slate.
Over the course of her 13-month relationship with Zverev, Sharypova said she suffered each emovemental abuse and a quantity of circumstances of bodily violence. She claimed that Zverev slammed her head Proper into a wall, and — the placeas in Ny for the U.S. Open in 2019 — suffocated her with a pillow. All by way of completely different incidents, Sharypova says Zverev punched her Inside the face, choked her, and shoved her, leaving her with bruises on her face and arm. The abuse escalated Tons, Sharypova said, that she finally was pushed to self-harm, injecting herself with insulin — an act that she knew might fatally decrease her blood sugar. (“I simply needed To go away Indirectly,” Sharypova said On the time, “as a Outcome of I can’t stand it anyextra.”)
In A press launch posted to Twitter final month, the tennis star “categorically and unequivocally” denied abusing Sharypova, including that he “absolutely assist[s] the creation of an ATP home violence coverage.” (Reps For every the disaster PR agency representing Zverev and the ATP Did not Reply to requests for remark.)
Sharypova has not pursued felony costs in the direction of Zverev and has no plans to file a civil go well with. When questioned Regarding the allegations in the direction of Zverev Prior to now, the ATP has said It is going to Await authorized investigations to run tinheritor course. As quickly as “due course of is utilized, we then consider The Outcome and decide The relevant Plan of movement,” ATP said in A press launch to Slate.
However amongst gamers on the circuit, uncomfortable questions have circulated about ATP’s obligation To evaluation critical accusations diplomaed in the direction of Definitely one of its most gifted youthful gamers. “Ought to the ATP have carried out one factor, and been involved, To shield The sport? Sure,” Raonic tells Rolling Stone. ”I felt like they have been Barely bit hush-hush about The complete factor, and simply ready for it to move.”
However even Inside the absence of a civil or felony case, there seems to be extra thOn the ATP might do. The tour’s rulebook states that “gamers shall not at any time bodily abuse any official, opponent, spectator or completely different particular person Contained in the precincts of the event website”; two of the alleged abuse incidents Sharypova has spoken about publicly are said to have taken place at lodges that have been An factor of an official event website.
There’s precedent for the ATP To evaluation such incidents — and probably punish Zverev if the claims have been substantiated. In 2013, the ATP suspended John Tomic, The daddy and coach of Australian tennis participant Bernard Tomic, after he headbutted his son’s halfner in entrance of a event lodge.
“It’s in our rulebook,” Raonic says. “There have been completely different events Which have occurred at event lodges the place the ATP has responded by wanting into it, and at these events they felt it was Important To answer with some diploma of punishment.”
For his half, Raonic says, On the very least, there Ought to be extra of a public recognition of the accusations in the direction of Zverev Inside the media safety of the U.S. Open. “At least it Ought to be acknowledged,” he says of Zverev, Who’s presently ranked fourth On the earth. “I don’t know if it has been.”