During his pre-tournament press conference at the 2021 Indian Wells Masters, Alexander Zverev spoke at length about the domestic violence controversy he finds himself embroiled in. Zverev claimed he has "proven" his innocence already, and stressed that men are considered less trustworthy than women in these situations.
The German also believes his on-court achievements this year have been ignored because of his off-court issues.
In October last year, Alexander Zverev was accused of domestic violence by his former partner Olya Sharypova. The Russian gave a detailed account of her story to journalist Ben Rothenberg, while also mentioning specific dates and events where the abuse allegedly occurred.
Zverev has denied all the allegations time and again, but hasn't addressed the specific claims made by Sharypova. The 24-year-old recently said that he "welcomes" the ATP's decision to launch an investigation into the matter.
After months of refusing to acknowledge the issue, the ATP finally launched an active investigation last week to look into the allegations leveled against Alexander Zverev. Many believe the ATP was stirred into action by Ben Rothenberg's second article for Slate, which brought forth more details of the domestic violence allegedly meted out to Sharypova by Zverev.
When asked to speak on this topic during his pre-tournament press conference at Indian Wells, the German claimed that it has been "very hard" for him to clear his name.
"Bloody finally ... l've been asking them myself for months now ... lt is very hard for me as you guys know to clear my name," Zverev said. "And only with something like this I can completely."
Alexander Zverev sought legal support after the release of the Slate article, after which he announced on Twitter that his lawyers in Germany and America had initiated proceedings against the "source and author" of the story. Zverev claimed on Thursday that he won a "case" in Germany, the results of which are supposedly being ignored by Rothenberg and Slate.
The German also threatened dire consequences against both of them, before reiterating that he is happy to be investigated as he reckons it will help him clear his name once and for all.
"I have been in court in Germany, which I won, the case against the author and the publications which the author is ignoring right now which I think will have a lot of consequences for him," Zverev said. "I know the media is turning and twisting it as if it was a bad thing for me, but I'm actually quite happy about, because hopefully this subject will be done. Because other than that ... there is not much more I can do to clear my name."
The 24-year-old then went on to suggest that it is tougher for men to clear their names in these cases, thus implying that modern society sides with women. Zverev also claimed he has proven his innocence in "different ways", and expressed hope for a resolution to be reached.
"To be honest it's very difficult in my situation because a lot of the time the man is not really believed," Zverev said. "I have proven that I'm innocent in a lot of different ways and I think now with this investigation which is finally happening, I hope that this can be done and dusted, from a third individual party and then we can move on with everything else."
"I've had one of the most incredible seasons a young guy has had in probably the last 10 years, and that is kind of forgotten a little bit" - Alexander Zverev
Andy Murray had given his two cents on this topic during a press conference at the San Diego Open last week. The Scot had claimed that the situation hadn't been handled well, and that the overall situation wasn't "great" for Alexander Zverev or the ATP tour at large.
Murray also made it clear that it was imperative for the situation to be resolved at the earliest.
"The way that it's (been) handled hasn't been good for anyone," Andy Murray told Inside Tennis. "I don't think it's been great for the tour. I don't think it's been great for Zverev, because you know, unless it gets addressed head-on, it's just going to be lingering, and, like you say, the questions will continue to be getting asked."
Alexander Zverev brough up Andy Murray's comments in his presser on Thursday, and asserted that the media should give more importance to the on-court achievements of the players than to their personal lives.
"To be very honest Andy Murray said it very well in San Diego," Zverev said. "When tennis players and stars of the game, they play tennis and they win tennis matches and they win big tournaments, you want to be talking about that. To be honest I've had one of the most incredible seasons a young guy has had in probably the last 10 years, winning the Olympics, two Masters series and four tournaments, and that is kind of forgotten a little bit. So once this situation is over, once this situation is done we can go back to how it was."