Novak Djokovic backs growth of home violence coverage in tennis

Novak Djokovic backs development of domestic violence policy in tennis

Novak Djokovic backed the thought of tennis growing a home violence coverage following allegations made in opposition to Alexander Zverev.

The German’s season ended with a 6-3 7-6 (4) loss to Djokovic on the Nitto ATP Finals, sending the world primary via to a semi-final conflict in opposition to US Open champion Dominic Thiem on Saturday.

Zverev has been competing underneath the appreciable shadow of great abuse claims made by his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova.

He strongly denies the allegations, which had been made by the previous junior participant on Instagram and in two media interviews, however has not addressed them in any element.

The ATP had been criticised for not making any public remark till final week, when it issued a generic assertion saying it “absolutely condemns any type of violence or abuse”.

Zverev is just not the one tennis participant to have confronted comparable allegations lately, with Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili in court docket final month to reply an assault cost in opposition to his ex-wife.

A number of main American sports activities have a coverage setting out a process to be adopted in such conditions, and Djokovic believes tennis ought to go down the identical route.

Novak Djokovic (right) embraces Alexander Zverev after their clash at The O2
Novak Djokovic (proper) embraces Alexander Zverev after their conflict at The O2 (John Walton/PA)

He mentioned: “I’ve identified Sascha (Zverev) for a really very long time since he was very younger. I at all times had an important relationship with him, he’s a really good man, I’ve a variety of respect for him, his household. I used to be unhappy to listen to that he’s going via one thing like this.

“I don’t know what occurred. Clearly I’m not supporting any form of violence. Whether or not ATP ought to develop a coverage? Sure, why not. Most likely it ought to be there in place.”

Tennis has largely closed ranks round Zverev, with Australian Daria Gavrilova a notable exception in saying she believes Sharypova, and Djokovic has supplied the German his assist.

“He’s been dealing with it effectively by the appears of his ends in the final month and a half or so, he’s been doing effectively contemplating he’s acquired loads on his plate off the court docket,” mentioned the world primary.

“I sincerely want for him that he overcomes this quickly and that he can give attention to his life and tennis profession.”

Zverev once more implied he wouldn’t be taking authorized motion – one thing Sharypova has additionally mentioned – and, regardless of the allegations and the coronavirus pandemic, declared it had been a “nice yr”.

The 23-year-old mentioned: “Sadly I misplaced a variety of huge matches. I misplaced semi-finals in Australia, which I might have gained. Misplaced the ultimate of the US Open, which I ought to have gained. Finals in Bercy (the Paris Masters). This match right here.

“The US Open match clearly nonetheless hurts, however all the opposite ones, it’s nice that I’m enjoying at this stage once more.”

Djokovic’s victory means the 4 high seeds have all reached the semi-finals for less than the second time since 1990, with Rafael Nadal taking over Daniil Medvedev within the different last-four conflict at London’s O2 area.

Djokovic, who’s chasing a record-equalling sixth title, nonetheless was not at his greatest however performed, and fought, loads higher than in his convincing loss to Medvedev on Wednesday.

He gained the primary seven factors of the match after which withstood all the pieces Zverev threw at him within the second set earlier than enjoying a near-flawless tie-break.

Djokovic has crushed Thiem in seven of their 11 conferences however the Austrian got here out on high in London final yr and within the French Open semi-finals earlier than Djokovic gained revenge in a five-set Australian Open closing.

Dominic Thiem celebrates his epic win over Novak Djokovic in London last year
Dominic Thiem celebrates his epic win over Novak Djokovic in London final yr (Tess Derry/PA)

“I’ve a number of respect for Dominic, his recreation, his work ethic,” mentioned Djokovic. “Each time we acquired to play within the final three or 4 matches, it was some marathon, thrilling encounters.

“It’s semi-finals so I’m anticipating a tricky battle. He’s in superb type. He likes to play on this floor. He performed finals final yr, beat Roger (Federer) and myself.

“He’s a grand slam champion, clearly that’s an enormous increase for him. If I handle to play in addition to I did right now and present up with a top quality of tennis, I believe I’ve an excellent probability to win. I’m simply hoping I can begin off the match in addition to I did right now.”

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