Djokovic sad for Zverev over off-court problems

SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (NOVEMBER 20, 2020) (ATP MEDIA/IMG – NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE)

1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE, NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ON ALLEGATIONS OF DOMESTIC ABUSE AGAINST ALEXANDER ZVEREV, SAYING:

“Yeah, I mean, I heard what happened. We don’t know what happened truly. I mean, we are going to find out obviously. I’ve known Sascha for a very long time since he was very young. I always had a great relationship with him. You know, he’s a very nice guy. I have a lot of respect for him and his family. I’m same age and same generation as his older brother Mischa. So, I was sad to hear that he’s going, and to know he’s going through something like this. So, again, I don’t know what happened. Of course, I mean, obviously I’m not supporting any kind of violence. So, we will have to wait and see. Whether ATP should develop the kind of a policy, yeah, I mean, why not? I mean probably it should be there in place. But I guess it wasn’t developed and it wasn’t there because we just did not have the cases like this. I think previously, I might be wrong, correct me, I mean in the history of the sport, but I’ve not heard that we had maybe top players involved in such instances. So, maybe that kind of case will, you know, will in a way inspire ATP to do something like that. So, yeah.”

2. WHITE FLASH

3. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER ONE, NOVAK DJOKOVIC, ON WHETHER HE THINKS ZVEREV HAS BEEN TREATED DIFFERENTLY SINCE THE ALLEGATIONS AND IF HE HAS SPOKE TO HIM ABOUT IT, SAYING:

“I’ll answer your second question first. I have not noticed that he has been treated differently from the locker room. I mean, at least in my case, you know, as I said, always had a very good relationship with him. We got to spend time during Adria Tour this year privately as well, talked a lot about different things in life and so it was very nice to go kind of in-depth with him and really get closer and get more personal than just the, you know, kind of the common themes and subjects that we in conversations we get to have on the tour. And then your first question. I have not talked with him about that specific case. I did tell him that I’m here if he needs to talk. Of course, he’s got a big family and team of people around him and he’s been handling it well by the looks of his results in the last month-and-a half or so. He’s been doing well considering he’s got a lot on his plate off the court, so, I sincerely wish for him that he overcomes this soon and then he can focus on his life and tennis career.”

4. WHITE FLASH

5. (SOUNDBITE) (English) WORLD NUMBER SEVEN, ALEXANDER ZVEREV, ON IF HE WILL TRY TO CLEAR HIS NAME DURING THE OFF-SEASON, SAYING:

“What else can I say? I’ve said everything that I can. You know, it’s very unfortunate that these kind of false allegations can put such damage and put the attention away from the sport, but it’s the world we live in right now unfortunately. So, yeah, there’s nothing more that I can do.”

STORY: Novak Djokovic offered sympathy to Alexander Zverev over his problems away from the tennis court after the German was accused of domestic abuse by an ex-girlfriend.

World number seven Zverev has repeatedly denied the allegations made by Olga Sharypova, who stated she does not intend to press charges.

“We don’t know what happened truly. I mean, we are going to find out obviously,” world number one Djokovic told reporters after his 6-3 7-6(4) win over Zverev at the O2 Arena on Friday (November 20).

“I have known Sascha for a very long time since he was very young. I always had a great relationship with him. Very nice guy. I have a lot of respect for him, his family.

“So I was sad to hear and to know he’s going through something like this. I don’t know what happened. Of course, I mean, obviously I’m not supporting any kind of violence. So we will have to wait and see.”

Germany’s Zverev, 23, has described the allegations as “unfounded and untrue” and without any legal investigation, the men’s ATP Tour would be unlikely to intervene.

The ATP said it condemned “any form of violence or abuse”.

“In circumstances where allegations of violence or abuse are made against any member of the Tour, legal authorities investigate and due process, we then review the outcome and decide the appropriate course of action,” the governing body of men’s tennis said in a statement last week.

Djokovic was asked whether the ATP should adopt its own policy on domestic abuse, similar to those in American sports, regardless of legal proceedings.

“Yeah, I mean, why not? Probably it should be there in place. But I guess it wasn’t developed and it wasn’t there because we just did not have the cases like this,” said Djokovic, who used to be president of the ATP’s player council before he resigned earlier this year to form a breakaway association.

“I have not heard that we had maybe top players involved in such instances. So maybe that kind of case will in a way inspire ATP to do something like that.”

U.S. Open runner-up Zverev was asked whether now the season was over he would concentrate on clearing his name.

“What else can I say? I have said everything that I can. It’s very unfortunate that these kind of false allegations can put such damage and put the attention away from the sport, but it’s the world we live in right now unfortunately. There is nothing more that I can do.”

(Production: Stefan Haskins)

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