NEW YORK — Nobody is enjoying higher tennis proper now than Alexander Zverev.
Zverev is quick rising as the most important menace to Novak Djokovic finishing a calendar Grand Slam on the U.S. Open. And that truth is rising as an enormous downside for the ATP, which with every massive Zverev win is underneath rising stress to not ignore the allegations of home violence made by Zverev’s former girlfriend.
Zverev gained his thirteenth straight match on Thursday, dropping simply 4 video games in his 74-minute, second-round destruction of Albert Ramos-Violas of Spain. His run began a month in the past on the Tokyo Olympics, when he knocked off Djokovic within the semifinal earlier than profitable the gold medal in males’s singles. He then adopted that by profitable the Western & Southern Open, the highest tune-up for the U.S. Open.
Three days after the 24-year-old German gained the Western & Southern, an article in Slate detailed accusations from his ex-girlfriend Olya Sharypova. The previous Russian tennis participant alleges that Zverev repeatedly abused her, together with an incident by which he tried to strangle her with a pillow and hit her head towards the wall in a New York lodge room earlier than the 2019 U.S. Open.
Sharypova, who first made her accusations in a distinct publication final yr, has not filed any prison expenses. Zverev, 24, has repeatedly denied the allegations and earlier than the match issued an announcement, saying that he would help the introduction of a home violence coverage on the lads’s professional tour.
After his first-round win on Tuesday, Zverev mentioned he deliberate to push forward with a authorized battle in Germany to clear his identify, including that he would not touch upon the state of affairs.
“I cannot let this sit on me, and that’s it,” Zverev mentioned.
I’d guess that’s not it. This isn’t one thing that can quietly go away.
It’s potential, nonetheless, that a few of this might have been prevented if the ATP had a transparent home violence coverage like those which have been adopted over the previous couple years by the NFL, NBA and MLB.
Relatively than rely strictly on regulation enforcement, the leagues examine expenses of abuse on their very own. Gamers are sometimes suspended with pay whereas the investigation is underway. The leagues even have established hotlines and counseling to assist households in disaster.
The ATP is now being pushed to do the identical. In an announcement final week, the ATP mentioned that it will start an unbiased evaluate of its safeguarding insurance policies, which it mentioned is anticipated to incorporate suggestions pertaining to home violence.
“Abuse has a profound and lasting influence on hundreds of thousands of victims annually,” ATP CEO Massimo Calvelli mentioned in an announcement. “We imagine everybody in tennis ought to really feel protected, pretty represented, and supported in elevating considerations. When abusive conduct or allegations are associated to any member of the tennis household it might probably additionally influence the general public’s belief in our sport.”
Zverev is just not the one participant on the U.S. Open coping with allegations of home violence.
Nikoloz Basilashvili is being tried on expenses that he bodily attacked his ex-wife. Basilashvili, arrested greater than a yr in the past, has performed a full ATP tour schedule whereas his case has made it by means of the courts in Georgia. The previous Soviet Republic solely outlawed home violence in 2012, and the trial has triggered fairly a debate in a society the place attitudes towards home violence are nonetheless shifting.
It’s true that tennis gamers dwell all around the world, in locations which have totally different legal guidelines and totally different attitudes towards home violence. But, that makes it solely extra essential that the game give you a uniform coverage that protects the households of their gamers and the picture of the game.
Andy Murray, a former No. 1 participant who has lobbied for adopting a brand new coverage, thinks doing so will solely improve the picture of the game.
“I simply didn’t really feel like the game had a lot of a form of stance on it actually,” Murray mentioned Monday when requested in regards to the ATP’s assertion. “So yeah, I suppose that’s a step in the precise course.”
A late step, however a step no much less.
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