Novak Djokovic defeats Alexander Zverev to reach final four of ATP Finals

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May 8, 2002
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Novak Djokovic won what was effectively a quarter-final at the O2 Arena, beating Alexander Zverev in straight sets. Afterwards, he offered a vote of support to his defeated opponent over the recent domestic-abuse controversy. Over the last three weeks, Zverev has been repeatedly accused of violent conduct by his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova, also known as Olya. Starting with an interview with the Russian website Championat, Sharypova has told various interviewers that Zverev had – among other things – tried to choke her with a pillow and banged her head against a wall. Djokovic was asked about Zverev’s personal issues in Friday night’s post-match press conference and, while agreeing with the suggestion that the men’s tour should bring in an official policy on domestic violence, Djokovic commended Zverev – whom he described as “a very nice guy” – on the way he has dealt with the situation. “I have not talked with him about that specific case,” the world No 1 said of Zverev. “He’s been handling it well, by the looks of his results in the last month and a half or so. “He’s been doing well considering he’s got a lot on his plate off the court. So I sincerely wish, for him, that he overcomes this soon and that he can focus on his life and tennis career.” As for whether the Association of Tennis Professionals should bring in a code on domestic violence, like the ones used in American leagues such as the NFL and the NBA, Djokovic said “Obviously I’m not supporting any kind of violence. Whether ATP should develop a policy … I mean, why not? “Probably it should be there in place. But I guess it wasn’t developed because we just did not have the cases like this previously.” Zverev was also asked twice about Sharypova’s allegations on Friday night. On the issue of whether the other players were reacting any differently to him since she went public with her claims, he replied “They are all fine to me. I mean, the relationship between me and the players won’t change. They know what’s going on.” And on whether he would take any action during the off-season to clear his name, Zverev replied “I have said everything that I can. It’s very unfortunate that these kind of false allegations can put such damage … but it’s the world we live in right now, unfortunately.”

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