Alexander Zverev has been accused of “domestic violence” by a former girlfriend, including of twice hitting her head against the wall and trying to strangle her.
Olya Sharypova, who was in a relationship with the US Open runner-up until last year, said one of the alleged attacks took place just before the 2019 tournament in New York and left her “afraid for my life”. Zverev has denied the allegations.
Sharypova claimed she had been abused in an Instagram post on Wednesday, without naming Zverev as the alleged perpetrator.
But she confirmed she had been referring to the world No 7 in a follow-up interview with Russian online sports website championat.com, in which she said there had been “a lot” of such incidents.
In her initial Instagram post, she wrote: “I WAS BEATEN AND I WILL NOT BE SILENT ANYMORE. I want to tell you a very personal and very difficult story for me that I have already experienced and left in the past.
“I was a victim of domestic violence. The first time it happened at the beginning of the relationship, we had a fight and he hit my head against the wall so hard that I fell down on the floor.”
She then described a second alleged incident at a hotel ahead of last year’s US Open, writing: “Last August, I ran out of the hotel barefoot, beaten up. I stood on a street in New York and did not know where to go and what to do.
“He tried to strangle me with a pillow, hit my head against the wall, twisted my hands and, at that moment, I was really afraid for my life. This not the first or the last time this happened in our relationship. But it was the scariest time, because at some point I couldn’t breathe.
“I was a different person, believed in love and tried to keep it. But people don’t change, as time shows.”
Elaborating on the alleged New York attack in her championat.com interview, she said: “On that day, I was just walking with Daria Medvedeva [wife of Russian tennis player Daniil Medvedev] and my friend. We lingered a little, and Sasha [Zverev] got angry about it.
“I tried to run out of the room several times, but he would not let me. I was afraid that someone might see and hear us. But in the end I managed to break free, and I ran off barefoot.
“At first, I was hiding in a hotel, but Sasha went downstairs and found me. We stood near the side entrance. I sobbed and tried to leave, and he wanted me to return to the room and we talked.
“But I understood that at that moment there would be no dialogue. I was scared and wanted to run away. But Sasha pushed me against the wall and said that he would get nothing for it.
“Fortunately, at that moment people appeared, and I rushed with them into the street. I was alone, barefoot in the middle of the street.”
Zverev’s has said that the allegations were "simply not true".
The allegations come after Brenda Patea, another one of Zverev’s former girlfriends, announced she was pregnant with his child earlier this week and claimed she was seeking sole custody of their baby. Zverev has said that he will "live up to his responsibility as a father"
She added in a post on Instagram: “I am not in contact with Alex, but I want to state very clearly on here that if he seeks contact with the child, I will not forbid it, on the contrary!”
Widely regarded as one of the best players of his generation, Zverev reached his first grand slam final last month before blowing a two-set lead to lose to Dominic Thiem.
Either side of that, he caused controversy related to the coronavirus crisis after attending Novak Djokovic’s notorious Adria Tour this summer and admitting earlier this month to playing his fourth-round French Open match despite having Covid-like symptoms.