LONDON (Reuters) – Alexander Zverev will begin his challenge at the ATP Finals on Monday still under a cloud in the wake of accusations of domestic abuse by his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova.
The German, ranked seventh in the world, responded to the allegations after arriving in London for the eight-day event that will bring the curtain down on the season.
“I am looking forward to playing, but the last few days the focus has shifted a little bit to the off court,” Zverev, the champion in London in 2018, said in a statement.
“While I very much regret that those allegations have been made, I have to stick to my initial thing of them being untrue and continue to deny them.
“These accusations are just unfounded, untrue. We had our ups and downs, but the way our relationship was described in the public is not how it was. That’s not who I am, not how I was raised by my parents.”
Zverev, 23, reached the final of the Paris Masters this month but his on-court performances have been overshadowed by the comments of former Russian junior player Sharypova.
Sharypova said in an the interview with Racquet Magazine that she does not want to press charges.
“It makes me sad the impact that such accusations can have on the sport, on the outside world, on myself as well,” Zverev said of the accusations.
The ATP Tour issued a statement this week saying that it condemns any form of violence or abuse.
“In circumstances where allegations of violence or abuse are made against any member of the Tour, legal authorities investigate and due process, we then review the outcome and decide the appropriate course of action.
“Otherwise we are unable to comment further on specific allegations.”
Zverev starts against Daniil Medvedev on Monday.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Pritha Sarkar)