What should ATP do with Alexander Zverev, accused of domestic violence?


What should ATP do with Alexander Zverev, accused of domestic violence?
© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

In May there will be the trial against Alexander Zverev, accused by his former girlfriend Brenda Patea of domestic violence. A difficult situation for the German tennis player. I talked about it a few days ago in a long editorial. Zverev is trying to regain performances and results, giving continuity to the good things seen in 2023, following the serious injury that occurred at the Roland Garros 2022.

But from the point of view of private life, the German's situation is complex. Before him the accusations of violence perpetuated by his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova. Then Brenda Patea's accusations of domestic violence.

But in all of this, ATP has not yet expressed its opinion on the case. The men's tennis association, following what the judges decide in May, will have to decide what to do with its player. If he were to be formally found guilty of violence, there could be very harsh consequences for him. What will ATP do in that case? Will he suspend the player? Will he allow him to continue playing?

Zverev© Cameron Spencer / Staff Getty Images Sport

If he really were found guilty, it would be enormous damage to the image, both for the player and for ATP. Depriving a champion like Zverev seems like a risk, but at the ssame time, allowing a player found guilty of violence to play could cast long shadows on the ATP. At this point I believe, the Men's Tennis Association will express itself after a possible ruling, whether positive or negative.

There are serious accusations, if confirmed, should (in my opinion) be sanctioned with an exemplary punishment by the ATP. At the same time, Zverev has not yet been tried and, as far as we know, a person is innocent until proven guilty. It is possible that ATP will wait untill the trial to understand what will be the sentence, to express itself.

The words of Zverev, Swiatek and Stephens

Zverev appeared very nervous in the press conference both after his debut and at the end of the tough match with Lukas Klein, which only ended in the super tie-break of the fifth set. When asked if he will personally attend the trial against domestic violence charges brought by his ex-girlfriend Brenda Patea, the German responded sharply to the concerned journalist.

"Wow. That's a good question. I just played four hours and 40 minutes. Not the first question I'd like to hear, to be honest. I have no idea. It's May, it's January," the German said.

The German had added, a few hours earlier: "What if the trial in Germany will affect my role in the ATP tennis players' council? I don't see what this could affect and I don't see why I should leave.

There's no question mark about it, there's nothing to say. Do I trust my colleagues? Well, no one told me anything and so I have reason to believe that there are no problems:" The journalist said that there are rumors that even Zverev shouldn't play and the German replied: "Who? Only journalists are saying this and they are the only ones who are interested in this story and have something to write."

Zverev© Morgan Hancock / Stringer Getty Images Sport

Sloane Stephens, who defeated Daria Kasatkina in the second round of the Australian Open, expressed her harsh point of view on the Zverev case, launching a clear attack on the ATP.

According to what the American player declared, the Association of Tennis Professionals has ignored the issue for too long. "I think the ATP dictates its own pace. That's what they do over there. I don't think the same would happen with the WTA. It will go to court and be judged, we'll see what happens next. It's a difficult situation, because we're talking about a character very important part of our sport. He will face the trial and this could put an end to everything.

I think there is a lot of speculation and accusations, so for the Tour it is necessary for this situation to end. I imagine the ATP will decide at the end of the process what to do with their player. Five months to go? Nobody has done anything for three years... so I think waiting another five months for the criminal trial doesn't change the situation."

Iga Swiatek also spoke out on the issue: "There is no positive answer. I think it's up to the ATP to decide. It's definitely not fair to promote a player who is facing accusations like this. I don't know what the outcome of the investigations will be. You should ask the ATP, because I'm not in a position to judge."

Alexander Zverev