World No. 4 Alexander Zverev comes into the US Open on an 11-match win streak. With a victory (albeit in best-of-three set play) over Novak Djokovic, an Olympic gold medal and a Western & Southern Open title in hand, Zverev and his fans have plenty of reasons to believe this fortnight on the Grand Slam stage could be different after falling just two points short last year to Dominic Thiem at Flushing Meadows.
While the tennis community waits to see if his outcome is different on Arthur Ashe Stadium, it is also waiting to see if this major tournament will be remembered as a marker for reasons away from the court.
On Wednesday, journalist Ben Rothenberg published his follow-up story on Zverev’s former girlfriend Olya Sharypova. Reporting for Slate, Rothenberg’s piece further outlined the alleged abuse Sharypova experienced at the hands of Zverev throughout the 2019 ATP season.
The article, which can be read here, makes points beyond the detailing of purported attacks—for starters, the ATP’s lack of an existing domestic abuse policy, and how the organization is addressing its absence. There’s also the significant fact that if Sharypova wanted to seek legal action through a court system, her pathway isn’t straightforward, given her nationality, with Zverev’s country of citizenship and the alleged incidents taking place across four different countries.
Since Zverev was initially named last October in Sharypova’s interview with Russan website Championat, Zverev has firmly denied any wrongdoing. During his Paris Masters runner-up speech, he said, “I know that right now there are a lot of people who will be trying to wipe a smile off my face, but I'm still smiling under this mask. A week later, reading off his phone during his media commitments at the ATP Finals, the German said, “We had our ups and downs but the way our relationship is described in the public is not how it was. That’s not who I am, that’s not how I was raised by my parents. That’s not just simply who I am as a person.”