After months of silence, Alexander Zverev has finally opened up on the domestic violence allegations leveled at him by his former girlfriend Olga (Olya) Sharypova. In a message posted on Twitter Zverev "categorically and unequivocally" denied having abused Sharypova, while also revealing that he had obtained a preliminary injunction against the parties involved.
The preliminary injunction (a court order preventing a party from committing certain acts) has been directed against "the source and the author", according to Zverev's message. That suggests both Olya Sharypova and the journalist who published the latest allegations, Ben Rothenberg, wouldn't be allowed to speak on the subject any more.
"I have engaged my German and American lawyers in the matter," Alexander Zverev wrote. "They have obtained a preliminary injunction against the source and the author who published the false allegations."
For the uninitiated, Ben Rothenberg is the journalist who has single-handedly championed Olya Sharypova's cause since she first went public with her story. Over the last 12 months, the American has written two lengthy pieces on the Sharypova-Zverev case, with the details procured directly from the Russian herself.
The most recent of his articles was published a couple of days ago. In the piece published on Slate.com, Sharypova was quoted as saying Zverev had beaten her multiple times during the latter half of the 2019 season, and had also reportedly asked her to kill herself.
The article even provided photographic proof of Sharypova's bruised face and arms to support her claims. According to the Russian, Zverev's father was also involved in the emotional abuse meted out to her.
In his reactionary statement posted on Friday, Alexander Zverev wrote that the court considers Sharypova's accusations "defamatory and false". He further revealed that his legal team was in the process of initiating a lawsuit against both Sharypova and Rothenberg.
"The court followed our arguments and states, the accusations aroused are defamatory and false," Zverev said. "The lawyers have therefore initiated further proceedings against the source and the author."
The German also stressed he has never abused his ex-girlfriend Olya, before expressing his support for the introduction of a domestic violence policy by the ATP. Perhaps most strikingly though, Zverev made it clear he will not speak on the topic any further - thus ruling out the possibility of any related question being asked to him during his press conferences at the upcoming US Open.
"I categorically and unequivocally deny having abused Olya," Zverev said. "I also fully support the creation of an ATP domestic violence policy. I will not address this matter any further."
What happens next in the Alexander Zverev-Olya Sharypova matter?
While it is difficult to comment on or predict legal matters, it seems evident that Olya Sharypova will no longer be able to speak to the media any more. That said, many believe the threat of facing legal action might convince her to press charges against Alexander Zverev, something she has actively been avoiding for over a year.
Moreover, Zverev hasn't yet addressed the specific claims made by Sharypova in her two interviews. That suggests there may be more details coming to light if the case does indeed go to court.
The ATP had stated late last year that they were unable to comment on any case for which no legal proceedings have been initiated. Now that this matter seems destined to end up in court, the governing body of men's tennis could finally acknokwledge Zverev's alleged involvement and take some action.
It remains to be seen whether Olya Sharypova has the resources to fight a legal battle against Alexander Zverev though. The Russian revealed during her most recent interview that she has been struggling to find a job in the aftermath of her acusations.
It will also be interesting to see how Ben Rothenberg responds to Alexander Zverev's statement, given that his reputation as a journalist is at stake too.