Australian tennis player Daria Gavrilova believes it is important to believe and support the victims in cases of domestic abuse. The former World No. 20 recently shared her views on the Alexander Zverev - Olga Sharypova controversy in a podcast with Jules Elbaba, a former tennis player herself.
Alexander Zverev, ranked No. 7 in the world, has been accused of domestic abuse by his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova. The full details of Sharypova's story came to light in an interview with The Racquet magazine, but the German has dismissed all the accusations.
Alexander Zverev vehemently denied Sharypova's claims in a statement released on social media two weeks ago, and he reiterated the same during his press conference at last week's Rolex Paris Masters.
On Elbaba's podcast, Gavrilova explained why it is important to believe the women instead of accusing them of hankering after the famous person's money - which a lot of people have done in Alexander Zverev's case.
"I was just a bit scared for her that everyone would attack her for coming out and saying things like telling the story publicly and I made all these hashtags 'I believe her' because I think you have to believe a woman. Like so many times people just blame the victim and they say that 'OK well now she's after his money'. But you know, how can you make up a story like that?" Gavrilova said.
"And you know so I thought okay, well she needs someone to support her and I thought okay well I haven't seen anyone say anything. And you know, I love Sascha, but you know when I saw his statement I was like 'Come on you're better than that'," Gavrilova added. "I mean I don't really like to get involved but I guess I kinda already did. I just hope she can have the strength. She is gonna have a lot of negativity so I hope she is strong enough."
I'm not against Alexander Zverev but I'm definitely against these actions: Daria Gavrilova
The Russian-born Australian player went on to state that she is very fond of Alexander Zverev, who she has often run into at tournaments, and that she is not against him. However, she also believes that any kind of domestic abuse allegations need to be taken seriously given how often the victims are questioned by outsiders.
"I love Sascha," Gavrilova said. "I'm not against Alexander Zverev but I'm definitely against these actions. I know Sascha just from tournaments. We are friendly when we see each other on site. He (Alexander Zverev) is still super-young but I don't think that should be an excuse for it or any of his actions."
"It's hard for Alexander Zverev, hard for her and hopefully they can work it out and it looks like they couldn't and that's why she went public, I guess. It happens way too often in this world. Like I said, I did not want to get involved in this. But I just really wanted to voice my opinion that you gotta believe the females and not just brush it off and say that she is after the money," Gavrilova added.
The 26-year-old added that she knew Sharypova (who played on the junior tennis circuit) during their younger days, and that they even shared the same coach at one point.
"I also know her," Gavrilova said. "We actually played tennis in Russia while growing up at the same club and at one stage, we had the same coach. I remember her as a little girl. That was like hard to see and read what she went through. Like the story in New York. That's hard."
Gavrilova revealed that she has sent a message of encouragement to Sharypova, but admitted that she is not sure why the Russian didn't complete her story in the interview.
"I just messaged her, saying like good luck with it all, and I'm so sorry that it happened," Gavrilova said. "The only thing is I'm a bit confused why she wouldn't just tell the whole story. Why is there a second part? Like she's milking it a bit. But well."Published 10 Nov 2020, 13:59 IST