Tennis player Alexander Zverev to face trial over physical abuse allegation

Tennis - Australian Open - Melbourne Park, Melbourne, Australia - January 16, 2024
Germany's Alexander Zverev during his first round match against Germany's Dominik Koepfer REUTERS/Tracey Nearmy

Germany’s Alexander Zverev during his first round match at this year’s Australian Open.Tracey Nearmy/ReutersCNN — 

Tennis player Alexander Zverev is set to face trial later this year after being accused of physical abuse against a woman, according to a spokesperson for the Berlin Criminal Courts.

The German is accused of “physically abusing and damaging the health of a woman during an argument in Berlin in May 2020,” according to a court statement from October 31, 2023.

The statement said he had been given a penalty order and fined €450,000 ($478,000) on October 2, 2023. He denied the allegations and lodged an appeal, meaning the case will be heard in a Berlin district court.

The court spokesperson told CNN on Tuesday that the trial is set to begin on May 31 and could run across eight days until July 19.

However, the court spokesperson said Zverev does not need to be present at the trial unless Berlin’s Tiergarten district court decides otherwise. If it does, that could potentially impact Zverev playing at the French Open, which runs from May 26 to June 9, and Wimbledon, which is being staged between July 1 and 14.

CNN has asked Zverev’s lawyers whether he intends to be present at the trial but has yet to receive a response.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 06: Alexander Zverev of Germany reacts against Carlos Alcaraz of Spain during their Men's Singles Quarterfinal match on Day Ten of the 2023 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 06, 2023 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Alexander Zverev given penalty order and fined $478K by German court over physical abuse allegations against former partner

The alleged injured party has joined the proceedings as a joint plaintiff, according to the spokesperson.

According to Zverev’s lawyers, the woman is his former partner. The courts have not named the woman, who is widely reported to be the mother of his child.

CNN has reached out to her management team and lawyer for comment but has not heard back.

”Mr. Zverev rejects the accusation made against him,” Zverev’s lawyer said in a statement last year.

“The allegations made by the complainant, on which the penalty order alone is based, have already been refuted by a forensic medical report by the recognized Berlin forensic physician Prof. Dr. Tsokos, Charite Berlin.”

The statement from Zverev’s lawyer quotes that report, saying “there are considerable inconsistencies that are not comprehensible from a forensic medical point of view.

“Or in other words: it is practically impossible that the facts of the case occurred as alleged by the complainant.”

In January last year, the ATP Tour announced that there would be no disciplinary action taken against Zverev after an investigation found insufficient evidence to substantiate published allegations of abuse in a separate case.

In October 2021, the ATP, the governing body for men’s professional tennis, said it was launching an investigation after domestic abuse allegations were made by another of Zverev’s former girlfriends, Olya Sharypova.

“Based on a lack of reliable evidence and eyewitness reports, in addition to conflicting statements by Sharypova, Zverev and other interviewees, the investigation was unable to substantiate the allegations of abuse,” an ATP statement read.

Zverev, who has been named in the new ATP Player Advisory Council this year, is currently competing at the Australian Open where he has progressed into the second round of the tournament.

He was asked about the case after his first-round win at Melbourne Park, but the German gave a prickly response when he was pushed on it by reporters.

“Why would it not be?” he said, when asked whether it was appropriate that he was on the ATP Player’s council and even still playing on the Tour.

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