Alexander Zverev took an absurd dig at the very serious domestic violence allegations against him during the runners-up speech at the Paris Masters, saying he was “still smiling.”
Zverev, playing his third consecutive final, lost 7-5, 4-6, 1-6 to Daniil Medvedev on Sunday evening.
Zverev’s former girlfriend Olga Sharypova has accused him of physical abuse during their relationship from 2018-2019.
Apart from an official statement, dismissing Sharypova’s claims “unfounded” and “simply untrue,” the German has not spoken on the matter. Instead, Zverev chose the runners-up speech to address the issue, albeit obliquely.
“There’s gonna be a lot of people that try to wipe the smile off my face,” said the 23-year-old Zverev.
One of his ex-girlfriends Brenda Patea, last month, had revealed that she is pregnant with his child but does not want to share custody with him.
“But under this mask I’m smiling brightly. I’m probably gonna be a father soon.
“I feel incredible on the court…everything is great in my life.
“The people keep trying … but I’m still smiling under this mask.”
The Paris Masters is the first tournament that Zverev played in since Sharypova made the physical abuse allegations. He defeated reigning French Open champion Rafael Nadal en route the final.
When asked during the post-match press conference about his comments at the presentation ceremony, Zverev reiterated them, saying, “For a professional athlete there are always going to be people who try to wipe the smile off your face. So they can keep trying. I’m still smiling.”
In an extensive interview with Racquet Magazine last week, Sharypova had also said that Zverev’s violence even drove her to commit suicide. During the Laver Cup in Geneva in 2019, she allegedly injected herself with insulin after Zverev punched her in the face.
“We had another fight, and in that fight he punched me in the face for the first time,” 23-year-old Sharypova told the magazine.
“In other fights he was pushing me, shoving me, twisting my arms, choking me. But this was the first time he punched me, really punched me.”
After Zverev left the room, she says, she locked herself in the bathroom and took the insulin shot. Zverev, with the help of a tournament official, convinced her to come out of the bathroom and gave her glucose tablets to help her recover.