Alexander Zverev’s Davis Cup team-mate says ‘ATP will have to do something’ if German is found guilty

Alexander Zverev disappointed

People will have to “respect” the verdict given in Alexander Zverev’s upcoming domestic abuse trial, according to Davis Cup team-mate Yannick Hanfmann.

World No 5 Zverev is set to stand trial this May over domestic abuse allegations concerning one of his ex-partners, an allegation he has consistently denied since it first emerged.

The hearing, which will occur after Zverev contested a penalty order notice handed against him, is set to coincide with the French Open; the German will not have to be present in court.

In a statement released after the initial announcement of the penalty order last year, Zverev’s lawyers said: “Mr. Zverev rejects the accusation made against him.

“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.”

Few players have spoken publicly about the situation but Zverev’s position on the ATP Player Council has come under scrutiny.

In an interview with Clay Magazine Hanfmann revealed that he had a “friendly” relationship with Zverev, who he had practiced with previously while they were also part of the same Davis Cup team on a few occasions.

And the world No 53 stressed the importance of waiting for the trial to take place to make any judgement, though conceded action may have to be taken if Zverev were to be found guilty.

“He has a trial in May. And I think that once he gets through that trial, whatever verdict may come out, I think that we have to respect that one. That’s a normal procedure… to wait if he’s guilty or not guilty,” said Hanfmann.

“I don’t know any of the subject matter. I know what he’s accused of, but I don’t know if he’s guilty or not. So let’s hopefully make them figure it out. And then if he’s innocent, we don’t have to talk about it anymore and we move on.

“If he’s guilty, we’ll probably have to remove him from the Council. And the ATP will have to do something.

“I thought it was a little bit unfair to speak about it so much in Australia because he has a trial upcoming, not ongoing right now. To make that distinction I think is important. And let’s see what happens in May, June.”

An initial allegation of domestic abuse was made against Zverev by another ex-partner in October 2020.

The former US Open finalist has also consistently denied that allegation and there has been no legal action against him regarding it; an internal ATP investigation into that allegation found ‘insufficient evidence to substantiate’ the claims, and therefore no action was taken against him.

Hanfmann believes that the ATP could look into how they handle such situations in the future, but trusted them to have completed a thorough investigation.

He added: “It’s such a tough topic. Maybe the ATP can develop an independent area to take care of this kind of things because we’ve had some issues with some players.

“But I trust in ATP, I trust that they do their good research of all these matters. And that they figure it out, that we don’t have these issues anymore in tennis. Because it’s a bad light for us.

“I don’t like it, of course, but let’s hope that whatever is happening with Sascha is nothing. I don’t like to hear about these things, of course. I hope that we players are good guys.”