Novak Djokovic offered sympathy to Alexander Zverev over his problems away from the tennis court after the German was accused of domestic abuse by an ex-girlfriend.
World number seven Zverev has repeatedly denied the allegations made by Olga Sharypova, who stated she does not intend to press charges, reports Reuters.
“We don’t know what happened truly. I mean, we are going to find out obviously,” world number one Djokovic told reporters after his 6-3 7-6(4) win over Zverev at the O2 Arena on Friday.
“I have known Sascha for a very long time since he was very young. I always had a great relationship with him. Very nice guy. I have a lot of respect for him, his family.
“So I was sad to hear and to know he’s going through something like this. I don’t know what happened. Of course, I mean, obviously I’m not supporting any kind of violence. So we will have to wait and see.”
Germany’s Zverev, 23, has described the allegations as “unfounded and untrue” and without any legal investigation the men’s ATP Tour would be unlikely to intervene.
The ATP said it condemned “any form of violence or abuse”.
“In circumstances where allegations of violence or abuse are made against any member of the Tour, legal authorities investigate and due process, we then review the outcome and decide the appropriate course of action,” the governing body of men’s tennis said in a statement last week.
Djokovic was asked whether the ATP should adopt its own policy on domestic abuse, similar to those in American sports, regardless of legal proceedings.
“Yeah, I mean, why not? Probably it should be there in place. But I guess it wasn’t developed and it wasn’t there because we just did not have the cases like this,” said Djokovic, who used to be president of the ATP’s player council before he resigned earlier this year to form a breakaway association.
“I have not heard that we had maybe top players involved in such instances. So maybe that kind of case will in a way inspire ATP to do something like that.”
U.S. Open runner-up Zverev was asked whether now the season was over he would concentrate on clearing his name.
“What else can I say? I have said everything that I can. It’s very unfortunate that these kind of false allegations can put such damage and put the attention away from the sport, but it’s the world we live in right now unfortunately.
“There is nothing more that I can do.”