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Tennis

Alexander Zverev’s Ex-Girlfriend Accuses Him Of Repeated Abuse

Alexander Zverev prepares to serve.
Photo: Jean Catuffe/Getty Images

Alexander Zverev, the No. 7 player on the ATP and runner-up at this year’s U.S. Open, has been accused of multiple instances of abuse by Olga Sharypova, his former partner. Sharypova described an emotionally and physically abusive 13-month relationship to Ben Rothenberg at Racquet magazine.

According to Sharypova, the physical abuse began at Zverev’s apartment in Monaco at some point during 2019: “I was going to leave because we had a really big fight. I was standing in the hallway, and he hit my head into the wall.”

“He got scared, and then he started lying,” she said of Zverev. “He said I hit him first, he was saying he didn’t do it, he’d never done it. I was just, ‘What? I’m on the floor, what are you talking about?’ Am I out of my mind or what? This was the first situation.”

Racquet

Sharypova also described an instance just before the 2019 U.S. Open when she was “scared for her life,” and was forced to flee their New York hotel barefoot. “It wasn’t our normal fight—it was really scary,” Sharypova told Racquet. “I was screaming, and because of that he threw me down onto the bed, took a pillow, and then sat on my face. I couldn’t breathe for some time, and I’m just trying to get out of it. I’m screaming and started to run.”

Sharypova’s account is corroborated in the article by her friend Vasil Surduk, who housed her after that incident in New York and provided contemporaneous text exchanges, and Surduk’s stepmother.

Sharypova described a 2019 incident in Geneva where Zverev punched her in the face. She said in other fights he would push her, twist her arms, and choke her, but this was the first time he actually punched her. Sharypova said she attempted to kill herself with a self-administered injection of insulin in her hotel room, but a tennis official, who declined to comment for the story, intervened.

“I was ready for that; I wanted to,” Sharypova said of the incident. “I didn’t want to live anymore. I had always heard these things from [Zverev], that I’m a bad person, I don’t deserve anything. I thought, ‘If I’m a bad person and no one cares about me, for what am I living?’”

Last week, when Sharypova had gone public with her story on her Instagram but before she had sat down to share it in full, Zverev posted a statement expressing “regret” about Sharypova’s “unfounded accusations.”

“Why Olga is making these accusations now, I just don’t know,” Zverev wrote. “I really hope that the two of us will find a way to deal with each other again in a reasonable and respectful way.” When Racquet reached out to Zverev’s agent for comment, a crisis management specialist pointed to the same statement.

[Racquet]

(Disclosure: I contribute to Racquet but was not involved in the publication of Rothenberg’s article.)