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Zverev’s ex-girlfriend Sharypova alleges more serious physical abuse
“It’s really hard to talk about this, because it really was a hell,” she said in an interview with Racquet magazine.
November 05, 2020
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Alexander Zverev‘s former girlfriend, Olya Sharypova, has accused the tennis player of further physical abuse while the two were dating in 2019.
The 23-year-old Russian, a former junior player, told Racquet magazine that Zverev, also 23, punched her in the face during an argument in the pair’s hotel room while Zverev was competing in the Laver Cup in Geneva, and she took insulin in a suicide attempt.
This adds to her initial allegations earlier this week, in interviews with Germany’s Bild Zeitung and Russia’s Championat, that Zverev put a pillow on her face and pushed her into their hotel room wall during the 2019 US Open. Zverev had issued a statement saying, “I very much regret that she makes such statements. Because the accusations are simply not true.”
Sharypova also shared a snapshot of a text conversation in Russian which she said was from a friend’s phone. It showed her saying she had no shoes and asking to be picked up from a New York hotel, along with a subsequent exchange with a photo that she indicated showed her luggage placed by Zverev in the hallway.
Here are the translated screenshots pic.twitter.com/3KhlKPhfXc
— Salty???? (@saltytennis) October 29, 2020
Asked for further comment on the newest allegations, a PR representative for Zverev said the player “stands by this statement” and added, “Mr. Zverev regrets that Mrs. Sharypova continues to feed the public without having spoken to him. We are still working towards achieving the reasonable and respectful dialogue Alexander mentioned in his original statement.”
Sharypova’s original comments followed a statement by another ex-girlfriend, 27-year-old Brenda Patea, announcing her pregnancy and saying that Zverev was the father, although they no longer have contact with each other. The pair had shared photographs of themselves together in the 2019 off-season, and were dating publicly into this year. Zverev has acknowleged that he is the father.
At least three individual incidents of physical abuse were detailed by Sharypova in her most recent allegations.
Sharypova told Racquet magazine that she and Zverev had dated in the juniors and then started their relationship again in 2018. A few months in, she said he began verbally abusing her with comments like, “’I’m a successful person, I earn money—but you’re nobody,’” adding, “It was emotional violence—I can’t say it any other way.”
Sharypova said the first violent incident occurred in 2019 in Monaco, but that she could not recall the exact date. She recalled being showed against a wall and falling to the floor.
“He got scared, and then he started lying,” she said. “He said I hit him first, he was saying he didn’t do it, he’d never done it.”
She said that she was also frequently criticized and questioned by Zverev, including frequent attempts to contact her when she was elsewhere with friends. “I had nobody with me to support me and make me feel like I’m not a bad person,” she said. “I was always blamed as the reason he competed badly, it was because of me.”
But she pointed to the incident at the US Open, where she said she attempted to escape the relationship, as different.
“It wasn’t our normal fight—it was really scary,” she said. “I was screaming, and because of that he threw me down onto the bed, took a pillow, and then sat on my face. I couldn’t breathe for some time.”
Sharypova said she left with the help of a friend and returned the next day to find her belongings in the hallway, though the two eventually got back together. No police report was apparently filed.
But she said the event had been significant.
“In this moment he understood that he’s much stronger in this way than me, physically stronger,” she said. “He starts doing this much more. When he realized that he had nothing to say, he started to do this.”
Zverev and Sharypova at the 2019 China Open. (Getty Images)
According to Sharypova, more violence followed at the Laver Cup, played two weeks following the US Open.
“We had another fight, and in that fight he punched me in the face for the first time,” she said. “In other fights he was pushing me, shoving me, twisting my arms, choking me. But this was the first time he punched me, really punched me.”
Sharypova said she then attempted suicide by taking insulin as a way of escaping the relationship. She said Zverev came back and found her in the locked bathroom, and went to get a tournament official when she refused to open the door.
She recalled them “saying, ‘Please, Olga, open the door, we need to help you.’”
“I was just crying, and I didn’t understand what to do,” she said. “I opened the door.”
Sharypova has stated that she is not planning to file a legal complaint, but wants to share her story.
“It was really hard to start talking about this, but I know that many people are going through… the same things… and they don’t understand what to do,” she said.
Zverev recently won back-to-back events in Cologne and reached his first Grand Slam final at this year’s US Open. He is in the quarterfinals of this week’s Paris Masters, and declined to add to his previous statement about the allegations.