Alexander Zverev faces an ongoing trial in Germany during the French Open. Here's what to know


BERLIN — As tennis pro Alexander Zverev competes for a Grand Slam title at the French Open in Paris, he is also involved in a court case at home in Germany connected to his former partner’s accusation he caused her bodily harm.

The fact that Zverev has continued to play one of tennis’ biggest events — he will play Norway’s Casper Ruud in the semifinals on Friday after winning his quarterfinal match against Australia’s Alex de Minaur on Wednesday night — while facing such serious allegations has highlighted the sport’s lack of a clear policy on domestic violence.

Here’s a look at the allegations Zverev is facing, the status of the trial in Berlin and wider reaction:

WHAT IS ZVEREV ACCUSED OF?

Zverev is facing a charge of causing bodily harm to his then-partner during an argument in Berlin in May 2020. The prosecution alleges he pushed her against a wall and choked her, German news agency dpa reported Friday from the trial.

The trial comes after Zverev contested an earlier penalty order issued Oct. 2, including a requirement for Zverev to pay fines amounting to 450,000 euros ($488,000). Penalty orders are used in Germany as a means of resolving some criminal cases without going to trial, if the suspect does not contest the order.

HOW HAS HE RESPONDED?

Zverev has denied wrongdoing and indicated ahead of the French Open that he was confident he would be cleared.

“At the end of the day, I do believe in the German system. I do believe in the truth, as well. I have to be certain that I do know what I did, I do know what I didn’t do,” he said. “That’s, at the end of the day, what’s going to come out, and I have to trust in that. You know, everything else is out of my hands. Not out of my hands, but I do believe that I’m not going to lose (in court). There’s absolutely no chance I am.”

Zverev said after his quarterfinal match Wednesday that “everything is going OK from my side and from my point of view.”

WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR IN THE TRIAL?

The trial bega n Friday at the court in central Berlin but much of what has taken place so far has been closed to the media and the public.

The district court has planned for 10 days of hearings in total on non-consecutive days through to July 19, according to dpa. That would stretch through the entire span of the French Open and Wimbledon and into the build-up for the Olympic tennis tournament, which Zverev won in 2021.

It is not yet clear how many, if any, of those days Zverev may be required to attend.

WHAT IS ZVEREV’S STATUS ON TOUR?

The ATP Tour and Grand Slam tournaments, like the French Open, do not have a policy that would bar players accused of domestic abuse and there are no restrictions on which events Zverev can play.

Tournament director Amelie Mauresmo said keeping Zverev out of the field while his case was pending was not an option.

“As long as the trial isn’t finished, and there isn’t a decision, he’s considered innocent, and so that’s why he’s allowed to be part of the draw,” Mauresmo said last week. “As far as the tournament is concerned, we are not going to comment on anything, because the trial is happening.”

Zverev was elected by other players in January to serve a two-year term on the ATP Player Advisory Council, which offers policy recommendations to the ATP’s management and board of directors.

This week, a tour spokesperson referred back to an ATP statement issued in January: “We are aware of the upcoming legal trial involving Alexander Zverev, and will not be commenting until that process is complete.”

Asked following his quarterfinal match Wednesday whether he had considered that he might be prevented from playing the French Open by anyone in tennis, he said: “No. Why? There’s no reason.”

HOW HAS GERMANY REACTED?

Zverev, who was born in Hamburg to Russian parents, is by far Germany’s highest-ranked player in men’s or women’s tennis and one of the country’s best-known sports competitors.

The trial so far not been front-page news in Germany, where legal proceedings are not televised and there is typically less detailed day-by-day reporting from trials than in some other countries such as the United States. German-language news stories about Zverev’s recent matches in Paris often do not mention the trial.

In sports news, Germany is focused on hosting the upcoming European Championship in men’s soccer, arguably taking some of the attention away from Zverev’s run at the French Open.

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AP tennis: https://apnews.com/hub/tennis



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