Tennis tour investigating abuse accusations against Alexander Zverev

Richard Cashin-USA TODAY Sports
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LONDON — The men’s professional tennis tour has opened an investigation into a former girlfriend’s accusations of domestic abuse by Olympic gold medalist and 2020 U.S Open runner-up Alexander Zverev.

The ATP announced Monday it is looking into “allegations concerning Alexander Zverev at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Shanghai in 2019.”

“The allegations raised against Alexander Zverev are serious and we have a responsibility to address them. We hope our investigation will allow us to establish the facts and determine appropriate follow-up action,” ATP CEO Massimo Calvelli said in a statement issued by the tour. “We understand Zverev welcomes our investigation and acknowledge that he has denied all allegations.”

Zverev is a 24-year-old German who currently is ranked No. 4 in the world.

He upset No. 1 Novak Djokovic at the Tokyo Games in July en route to the gold medal, then lost to Djokovic in the U.S. Open semifinals in August. Zverev lost to Dominic Thiem in the U.S. Open final a year ago.

The former girlfriend, Olga Sharypova, first made the accusations last year. She provided a new, detailed account in a Slate.com story in August.

“I’ve always said that the allegations and everything that has been said is untrue,” Zverev said at a news conference in late August before the start of the U.S. Open.

He said then that he would support the introduction of a domestic violence policy by the ATP.

The tour also said Monday it has received what it called an “independent safeguarding report,” saying it is “a key element of the ATP’s overall safeguarding review to ensure all adults and minors involved in professional tennis are safe and protected from abuse.”

The ATP said it will “evaluate the report’s recommendations to identify immediate next steps … relating to all matters of abuse, including domestic violence.”

Parma Ladies Open semifinals postponed to same day as final

parma ladies open
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PARMA, Italy — The semifinals of the Parma Ladies Open have been postponed by a day and will be played shortly before Saturday’s final.

The decision was made because of persistent rain at the clay-court tournament on Friday.

Top-seeded Maria Sakkari will start on center court against Danka Kovinic at 10:30 a.m. local time (0830 GMT) on Saturday before sixth-seeded Ana Bogdan’s match against Mayar Sherif.

The final will be after 6 p.m. local time, shortly after the doubles final – with the doubles semifinals also being played earlier in the day on a different court.

Top-seeded Sakkari reaches semifinals at Parma Ladies Open

Maria Sakkari
Robert Prange/Getty Images
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PARMA, Italy — Top-seeded Maria Sakkari rallied past 97th-ranked Maryna Zanevska 2-6, 6-4, 6-4 on Thursday at the Parma Ladies Open to reach her first semifinal since the grass-court season.

Sakkari, who has gone three sets in all three of her matches this week, will face Danka Kovinic for a spot in the final of the clay-court event after Kovinic beat Jasmine Paolini 6-4, 6-4.

In her previous semifinal, Sakkari lost to Belinda Bencic in Berlin in June. The seventh-ranked Greek player was eliminated by Wang Xiyu in the second round of the U.S. Open on Aug. 31.

In the bottom half of the draw, Mayar Sherif of Egypt beat American opponent Lauren Davis 7-6 (2), 6-3 to reach her second career semifinal. Sherif next faces Ana Bogdan, who defeated fellow Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu 6-2, 7-6 (6).