Djokovic’s message to Zverev: Stay strong

Novak Djokovic has wished Alexander Zverev luck on and off the court

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Novak Djokovic has encouraging words for under-fire Alexander Zverev

Even as the Alexander Zverev domestic violence controversy has brewed on, the tennis world has largely stayed mum. Novak Djokovic has now come out in support of Zverev despite admitting he doesn’t know what exactly happened.

Last month, the German was accused by his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova of physical abuse. Sharypova, a former tennis player herself, said that at one point things got so bad that she even attempted suicide.

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Zverev has denied all allegations calling them ‘unfounded and untrue’. During the Paris Masters, he even took a swipe at his former girlfriend at the trophy presentation ceremony.

“There’s gonna be a lot of people that try to wipe the smile off my face,” Zverev said. “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.”

But even as the facts of the case are yet to be established, Djokovic has shown solidarity with the 23-year-old Zverev.

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“I’ve known Sascha (Zverev) for a very long time since he was very young,” Djokovic said after beating Zverev 6-3, 7-6 (4) and effectively knocking him out of the ATP Finals on Friday.

“I always had a great relationship with him, he’s a very nice guy. I have a lot of respect for him, his family. I was sad to hear that he’s going through something like this.

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“He’s been handling it well by the looks of his results in the last month-and-a-half or so.”

During the same press conference though, the Serb agreed that the ATP should have a policy on domestic violence cases, like a lot of American leagues do.

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“I don’t know what happened,” he admitted. “Obviously I’m not supporting any kind of violence. Whether ATP should develop a policy? Yes, why not? Probably it should be there in place.”

The Serb then went on social media to send Zverev words of encouragement.

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“Always a pleasure sharing the court with you Sasha @AlexZverev,” he tweeted. Great ending of the season for you. Best wishes in what awaits you on and off the court. Stay strong.”

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