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Novak Djokovic causes controversy with comments on Alexander Zverev

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Novak Djokovic has divided tennis fans and commentators after being asked to comment on domestic violence allegations against Alexander Zverev.

 

 

Djokovic beat Zverev 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) on Friday to advance to the semi-finals of the ATP Finals, where he will play US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

The World No.1 was then asked to address the shocking allegations levelled at Zverev by ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova, and whether or not he thought tennis should have a domestic violence policy.

djokovic

Zverev, who won the 2018 ATP Finals in London, has been competing under the shadow of serious abuse claims made by Sharypova.

He strongly denies the allegations, which were made by the former junior player on Instagram and in two media interviews, but has not addressed them in any detail.

The ATP, which runs the men’s tour, had been criticised for not making any public comment until last week, when it issued a generic statement saying it “fully condemns any form of violence or abuse”.

zevrev and djokovic

Novak Djokovic has divided tennis fans and commentators after being asked to comment on domestic violence allegations against Alexander Zverev.

Djokovic beat Zverev 6-3, 7-6 (7/4) on Friday to advance to the semi-finals of the ATP Finals, where he will play US Open champion Dominic Thiem.

The World No.1 was then asked to address the shocking allegations levelled at Zverev by ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova, and whether or not he thought tennis should have a domestic violence policy.

Zverev, who won the 2018 ATP Finals in London, has been competing under the shadow of serious abuse claims made by Sharypova.

He strongly denies the allegations, which were made by the former junior player on Instagram and in two media interviews, but has not addressed them in any detail.

The ATP, which runs the men’s tour, had been criticised for not making any public comment until last week, when it issued a generic statement saying it “fully condemns any form of violence or abuse”.

Novak Djokovic advanced to his ninth semi-final at the Nitto ATP Finals

Several major American sports have a policy setting out a procedure to be followed in such situations, and Djokovic believes tennis should go down the same route.

“I’ve known Sascha (Zverev) for a very long time since he was very young,” he said.

“I always had a great relationship with him, he’s a very nice guy. I have a lot of respect for him, his family.

“I was sad to hear that he’s going through something like this.

ATP Finals 2020 - Novak Djokovic beats Alexander Zverev to book semi-final

“I don’t know what happened. Obviously I’m not supporting any kind of violence. Whether ATP should develop a policy? Yes, why not? Probably it should be there in place.”

Tennis has largely closed ranks around Zverev, with Aussie star Daria Gavrilova a notable exception in saying she believes Sharypova.

However Djokovic went the other way on Friday and offered the German his full support.

“He’s been handling it well by the looks of his results in the last month-and-a-half or so,” Djokovic said.

“He’s been doing well considering he’s got a lot on his plate off the court.

Djokovic

“I sincerely wish for him that he overcomes this soon and that he can focus on his life and tennis career.”

Djokovic’s comments were slammed by some fans and members of the media, with many believing he should have been stronger on his stance.

Many were also fuming that Djokovic never mentioned the alleged victim.







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