The ATP has announced it is investigating high-profile allegations of domestic abuse made by the former girlfriend of Olympic champion Alexander Zverev.
Last October, former junior player Olga Sharypova publicly accused the world number four of a series of serious assaults, to which he issued a blanket denial.
An interview with Sharypova published in the American online magazine Slate in August contained new allegations, including that Zverev punched Sharypova in their hotel room during the Shanghai Masters in October 2019 and that, in desperation and for a second time, she injected herself with insulin.
Zverev continues to deny all the allegations and has now taken legal action, a route Sharypova has not pursued.
The ATP has been heavily criticised for a lack of action but the organisation has now announced an investigation into Sharypova’s allegations regarding Shanghai, with a statement adding: “The ATP fully condemns any form of violence or abuse and will investigate such allegations related to conduct at an ATP member tournament.”
Chief executive Massimo Calvelli said: “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.
“We understand Zverev welcomes our investigation and acknowledge that he has denied all allegations. We will also be monitoring any further legal developments following the preliminary injunction obtained by Zverev in the German Courts.”
Meanwhile, an independent safeguarding report, commissioned by the ATP earlier in the season, has been completed.
The report was compiled by a team led by Chris Smart, the former Detective Chief Inspector of the Metropolitan Police, and outlines a number of recommendations.
The statement continued: “ATP will now evaluate the recommendations to identify immediate next steps and develop a longer-term safeguarding strategy relating to all matters of abuse, including domestic violence.”
Calvelli added: “As an organisation we recognise the need to be doing more to ensure everyone involved in professional tennis feels safe and protected.
“The recommendations of the safeguarding report will help us approach this in a robust way. We are committed to making meaningful steps forward and know this won’t be an overnight process.”
Zverev later said he welcomed an independent investigation.
“I have always been in full support of the creation of an ATP domestic violence policy,” he wrote on Twitter.
“Moreover, I welcome the ATP investigation in the matter and have been asking the ATP to initiate an independent investigation for months.
“As stated before, I categorically and unequivocally deny any of these allegations.”
Zverev is not the only current ATP player facing allegations of domestic violence.
Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 36th, is the subject of a court case in his native Georgia regarding claims by his ex-wife while the former partner of 21-year-old Brazilian Thiago Seyboth Wild look legal action last week citing domestic abuse.