John McEnroe and Reilly Opelka slam Alexander Zverev over domestic abuse allegations

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    John McEnroe and a Team World player slammed Alexander Zverev after beating Team Europe during the Laver Cup, joking about domestic abuse allegations made by his ex-girlfriend. It came after Denis Shapovalov and John Isner were able to get their team on the board at the end of day one when they beat Zverev and Matteo Berrettini in the doubles.

    Team Europe got off to a flying start on day one of the team event, winning all three singles matches and getting three points on the board.

    The opening day concluded with a doubles match between Europe’s Zverev and Berrettini facing Team World’s Isner and Shapovalov, with the American-Canadian pair getting a much-needed win to give their team the first point of the tournament.

    Following their doubles victory, Team World’s captain John McEnroe overheard recent gold medallist Zverev saying his team would not win another point, leading the world players to give their verdict on his denial of domestic abuse allegations made by his ex-girlfriend Olga ‘Olya’ Sharypova.

    Zverev and Sharypova were in a relationship for around a year before splitting in Autumn of 2019, and a year later the Russian spoke out publicly on her alleged ordeal for the first time, expanding on her story once again in a recently-published piece ahead of the US Open.

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    Among the allegations detailed by Sharypova were claims that the recent Cincinnati champion hit her head into a wall, was ‘controlling and possessive’, took a pillow and sat on her face, took her passport to prevent her from leaving him, and punched her in the face during a series of assaults throughout their relationship.

    She also recalled attempting to take her life by injecting herself with insulin twice – once following an incident of domestic abuse in their Geneva hotel room during the 2019 Laver Cup, with a tournament official said to have persuaded her to let them in to help, and again during the 2019 Rolex Shanghai Masters before suffering the ‘most violent’ attack at the hands of Zverev a day later.

    The world No 4 continues to deny all of Sharypova’s allegations and no formal charges have been brought, while few players have spoken out over the allegations and lack of a domestic violence policy on the ATP Tour, something the ATP is currently looking into as part of a safeguarding review.

    While many of the German’s fellow players have stayed quiet, those on Team World made it clear they were aware of the allegations and referenced the cloud hanging over his head during a spat following their doubles victory.

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    As Team World celebrated their victory at the bench on Friday evening (September 24), seven-time Grand Slam champion McEnroe could be heard saying “f**k this guy,” in regards to Zverev.

    Isner shared his disbelief and his opponent’s comment, while Diego Schwartzman asked what was said, as McEnroe replied: “He said that’s the last point we’re gonna win.”

    Reilly Opelka, playing the Laver Cup for the first time this year, then brought up the allegations against Zverev and, saying: “He also said he’s innocent.”

    As the world No 19 implied he did not believe the 2020 US Open runner-up about either claim, McEnroe seemed to agree.

    “Yeah, good point,” the team captain added.

    Laver Cup action continues on Saturday (September 25) with a popcorn clash between Tsitsipas and Kyrgios to begin day two, before Zverev faces Isner once again, this time in the singles.

    Shapovalov also makes his first singles appearance of the 2021 edition when he takes on recent US Open champion Medvedev, and the day ends with a doubles clash as Rublev and Tsitsipas join forces to take on Kyrgios and Isner.

    Team Europe currently lead by three points to one, but all match wins on day two are now worth two points, so Team World still have more than enough chance to take the lead.



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