ATP launches investigation into Alexander Zverev over domestic abuse claims

Alexander Zverev has denied allegations of domestic abuse of his former girlfriend, Olya Sharypova. Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for Laver Cup

The Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) have announced an investigation into Olympic champion Alexander Zverev regarding allegations of domestic abuse.

First reported in an investigation by Slate in August, his former girlfriend, Olya Sharypova, said the German grabbed her by the throat and hit her at a hotel during the ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai in 2019. Zverev, 24, has denied the accusations and said last month that he is taking legal action over the claims.

Slate defended its reporting, saying in a statement: "Today we were informed that Alexander Zverev started legal proceedings in Germany against Slate following our report on alleged domestic abuse. Though Slate does not comment on pending litigation, we stand by our fair and accurate reporting based on multiple sources and interviews."

In previous allegations told to Racquet magazine in November 2020, Sharypova said Zverev tried to strangle her with a pillow before the 2019 US Open. He has also denied these accusations.

The Tour said in a statement that Zverev has "welcomed" the investigation.

"The allegations raised against Alexander Zverev are serious and we have a responsibility to address them," ATP chief executive Massimo Calvelli said.

"We hope our investigation will allow us to establish the facts and determine appropriate follow-up action. We understand Zverev welcomes our investigation and acknowledge that he has denied all allegations.

"We will also be monitoring any further legal developments following the preliminary injunction obtained by Zverev in the German Courts."

Zverev is world No. 4 after winning men's singles gold this summer at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He will play in the BNP Paribas Open at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden in California this week.

The Tour have also said it has completed an independent safeguarding report that "outlines a number of wide-ranging recommendations."

In June, three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray called on the Tour to improve its policies and safeguarding regarding domestic abuse.

Ahead of a match against Nikoloz Basilashvili, who was charged in May 2020 with assaulting his former wife, Murray said: "For me there should be protocols and a process in place when allegations like this are made.

"I don't know exactly what those processes are. From what I've heard, they're not great."