All the troubles of Alexander Zverev: how much will it affect his season?

Will the German player's private life and related problems affect his professional activity?

by Lorenzo Ciotti
All the troubles of Alexander Zverev: how much will it affect his season?
© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

In these hours, the period in which the trial will begin at the Berlin criminal court has been made known, which sees Alexander Zverev involved and accused of physically abusing a woman and damaging her health during an argument.

Court spokeswoman Lisa Jani, in a statement to DW, announced the hearing will take place in May 2024, with dates and details to be announced in the coming weeks. Therefore, the case will return to be dealt with by the judicial body in the period preceding the Roland Garros, scheduled this year from 27 May to 9 June.

It is still early to understand whether the complex affair could somehow change the German tennis player's plans on the tour. Jani clarified that the Hamburg player will not necessarily have to appear in person, but the judge could order him to testify. The charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison, although highly unlikely due to the nature of the criminal provision.

His ex-girlfriend Brenda Patea already obtained a favorable ruling from the district court last October. Zverev received a penalty order, issued in Germany when a judge deems the case to be simple and does not warrant a trial, and a fine of $492,700. However, the 26-year-old decided to contest the provision and therefore start a trial.

Zverev© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

During a press conference in Paris-Bercy the German defined the situation this way: "It's total nonsense. Anyone with a minimum of semi-sufficient IQ level can understand what it's really about," he told.

The battle continues: Meanwhile, Zverev's lawyers managed to put pressure on an interview by Brenda Patea with the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, which was removed because it went beyond the permitted limits of suspicious reporting, according to what the law firm said.

What had happened in the past few weeks

The German is not experiencing a happy moment in his private life away from the court, even though he has started a relationship with the actress and influencer Sophia Thomalla a few months ago. The problems for the Hamburg native are linked to previous engagements first with Olga Sharypova and then with Brenda Patea, from whom his daughter Mayla was born.

Patea, as we said, gave a shocking interview to the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung in which she described some of her ex-boyfriend's behavior and telling what happened in May 2020 in an apartment in Berlin, or the episode that led her, after some time, to contact a lawyer and report the incident.

"He is a jealous man, he constantly checks my phone and sometimes a simple 'like' from someone on a photo of me was enough to make him angry. His anger turned into physical violence several times," the woman confessed.

Zverev© Morgan Hancock / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Brenda then revealed that evening in the hotel, where Zverev grabbed her by the neck and put her against the wall, applying a lot of pressure. His gesture, as she continued to talk about it, caused her cervical damage and difficulty swallowing in the following days. Patea also revealed an anecdote that happened in the summer of 2021, following the attempt to obtain sole custody of his daughter: Zverev, through his trusted lawyers, would have proposed an agreement to his ex-girlfriend which immediately included a payment of 100 thousand euros, a generous monthly allowance for her and Mayla's maintenance and the possibility of living in one of the tennis player's properties in Germany.

Naturally the German wanted to obtain silence from Brenda, who would not have to reveal to anyone what had happened, as well as, apparently, not being able to have any kind of contact with the other ex Sharypova.

Not only legal and sentimental problems, but also diabetes

Zverev also told how he discovered he had diabetes: "I was too young, I only remember the stories from my family when I got sick with a very serious virus. Then I had to be vaccinated, like any normal child, but I was still sick. My body had a reaction after the vaccination: diabetes. I was only 4 years old, I didn't eat for days, I only drank. My blood sugar was always incredibly high, but we didn't know it, until my parents went back to the doctor and it was confirmed there. I don't know a life without diabetes, for me it's normal.

I always wanted to be a tennis player, I always wanted to become a sportsman. I was a very active child, I played several sports: tennis, hockey and football, all at the same time. But my dream has always been to become a tennis player and play in the biggest tournaments in the world.

I say it very simply: the life I have now is the one I have always dreamed of. Nobody wants to have diabetes, nobody wants to have this disease because they think it will make you stronger. Ultimately, I had to grow up faster and take on my responsibilities. Diabetes is a lifelong responsibility, I think this has helped me. When they tell me I can't do something, I always try to prove otherwise.

This happens to me in sport but also in life, I am very stubborn. That's why diabetes may have given me extra motivation, but now I believe that with diabetes you can live a normal life and achieve anything. The topic made me uncomfortable for several reasons. First of all, I didn't want to have an excuse in sport, I gave too much importance to this aspect, winning or losing. Secondly, I didn't want everyone to know, I preferred to keep it a secret.

I usually gave myself injections during the year, I didn't want anyone to know that I was diabetic or that I had an illness. A lot of people are uninformed, they don't understand what diabetes is, so now I want to educate and encourage children."

Alexander Zverev