Martina Navratilova gives perfect response to Zverev allegations

(Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images) /

Alexander Zverev is facing new allegations that he assaulted a woman. Zverev is being accused of bodily harm against ex-girlfriend Brenda Patea. Patea and Zverev also have a daughter together. A penal order has been applied for in a German court by the attorney for Patea. And Martina Navratilova has thoughts about these latest allegations against Zverev.

And before anyone starts asking why Navratilova should say anything about what’s going on with Zverev, it needs to be pointed out that what she tweeted in response to a Twitter post about the allegations is 100 correct. Plus, Navratilova has long been a supporter of women’s rights, so her comment on the Zverev situation shouldn’t come as a surprise.

Navratilova’s response didn’t say Zverev was guilty of the allegations and didn’t say how Zverev should be penalized. Her point was that the allegations need to be investigated better than Zverev’s previous allegations.

Martina Navratilova’s succinct tweet about Zverev’s new allegations is spot-on

And she’s right. In 2021, Zverev was accused in an interview by another woman, ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova, of abuse. One of the main differences between the situation in 2021 and the new allegations is that Sharypova never accused Zverev legally in court. Patea, however, is.

This meant that the 2021 allegations could have really only affected Zverev’s on-court play if the ATP looked into the matter and then disciplined Zverev somehow. While the ATP did look into the charges, how seriously they did is in question. The men’s tennis governing body took a very long time to look into the situation to begin with and then closed their investigation, whatever there was of one, 27 months after the allegations were originally made.

One of the issues with the ATP is that they have no real policy against tennis players abusing people. In fact, the ATP might only discipline a player if the situation is “a manner severely damaging to the reputation of the sport.” One might argue that if a player does abuse someone that what they did is an individual issue and not a global one that would affect the sport as a whole. Therefore, the ATP has an out, if it wants.

And the ATP appears to want to avoid punishing players for domestic abuse as there have been several players recently accused but no discipline given out. This brings me to my point about what Martina Navratilova said. Navratilova simply says, quite correctly, that the new allegations against Zverev need to be “properly addressed” and not only by the ATP.

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Maybe Zverev is guilty of the allegations and if he is he needs to be held accountable by a German court but also by the governing body of the sport he plays. The problem seems to be that the ATP will find a way out if it can and Zverev, unless he is jailed, will go right on playing tennis.