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Zverev to be tried for domestic violence during Roland Garros: “I know what I did”

The German world number four starts the 2024 French Open against Rafael Nadal but will also be on trial during the tournament.

Alexander Zverev y Rafa Nadal, en la semifinal de Roland Garros 2022.

Alexander Zverev has been one of the main protagonists in the lead-up to the 2024 French Open. The German, ranked fourth in the world, won the Italian Open in Rome last week and will take on 14-time champion Rafael Nadal in a blockbuster first-round clash at Roland-Garros on Monday. Zverev, however, will also have to attend to off-court matters, as he is due to stand trial, starting on Friday 31 May, for allegedly physically abusing Brenda Patea, his ex-partner and mother of his daughter, Mayla, born in 2021.

What has Zverev been accused of by ex-girlfriend Patea?

The alleged incidents took place in 2020, when the claimant told the police she had been the victim of several attacks at an apartment in Berlin. Court documents state Zverev pushed his ex-partner against the wall and tried to strangle her, which was corroborated by two friends of model Patea. “She had difficulty swallowing,” they declared to the authorities.

In November last year, Zverev was issued a penalty order and fined €450,000 (around $489,000) by the Berlin criminal court, which he has appealed against.

Can Zverev continue playing tennis? How will the trial affect his participation in the 2024 French Open?

The ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) also launched an internal investigation into the incident but opted against taking action against the player, which means, from their side, he is free to keep playing despite the legal charges.

Additionally, Zverev isn’t required to attend the hearing in person and has said he doesn’t intend to do so, which means he can participate in the French Open “as normal”.

Zverev’s “trust” in German legal system to prove innocence

Zverev was asked about the situation ahead of the action getting underway in Paris and said he “trusted” the German justice system to prove his innocence.

I believe in the German system and I believe in the truth. I know what I did and I know what I didn’t do. That’s what’s going to come out and I have to trust that. Everything else is out of my control and out of my hands, but I don’t think I’m going to lose this trial.”

The 27-year-old also played down suggestions his legal issues would affect his performance at Roland-Garros. “There is absolutely no chance that I will lose it (the trial). That’s why I can play with freedom, which my results are showing. Like winning Rome, which is a great title. If all that was on my mind, I wouldn’t be playing the way I am.”