Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg opposes Alexander Zverev's participation in French Open amidst domestic abuse accusations

Monday, 27 May 2024 at 04:00
Tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg once again takes aim at Alexander Zverev over domestic abuse accusations. The tennis expert criticized the French Open for permitting the German to participate in the tournament and even urged Wimbledon to make a different decision if Zverev's trial has not concluded.
Zverev's ex-girlfriend, Brenda Patea, filed a lawsuit in a Berlin criminal court in October 2023, alleging that the tennis player physically abused her in May 2020.

Allegations against Zverev

The court imposed a fine of nearly $500,000 on the tennis player without a trial, meaning he could reach a financial settlement if he admitted guilt. However, Zverev contested the court's ruling and appealed for a trial, maintaining his innocence from the outset.
Zverev will debut on Monday, May 27, in the first round against Rafael Nadal, while the trial begins on Friday, May 31, the same day the third round of the tournament is scheduled to start. However, the tennis player stated in a press conference that his attendance will not be necessary on this occasion, and he will not need to travel to Berlin to attend the trial.
During a pre-tournament session, a journalist asked Roland Garros director Amelie Mauresmo about the accusation against Zverev. The former world No. 1 Frenchwoman suggested that Zverev is considered innocent until proven guilty in a trial, and therefore, he is still eligible to play: "As long as the trial isn’t finished and there isn’t a decision, he’s considered innocent and so that’s why he’s allowed to be part of the draw," she told the Guardian.
Zverev at 2023 French Open.
Journalist Ben Rothenberg reacted to Mauresmo's statements via social media and criticized the tournament's decision to allow Zverev to participate in the main draw amidst domestic violence accusations: "There *was* a decision by the courts in Berlin against Zverev for abuse accusations, a penalty order for €450,000. Zverev chose to appeal that decision; that’s what this trial is," he wrote.
"…but while that initial penalty order stands, Zverev should not be competing in the sport, #Roland Garros or elsewhere. Similar situation as a player not to being allowed play after testing positive for a banned substance until they are able to clear themselves at a tribunal.”
"If Zverev’s criminal appeal proceedings in Berlin are still not resolved by then, Wimbledon can and should rule differently than Roland Garros and tell him to stay away. His [Alexander Zverev's] present presence is a stain on the sport and these enormous tournaments would be just fine without him," Rothenberg added.

Two interesting decisions from #RolandGarros tournament director Amelie Mauresmo. On the second: there *was* a decision by the courts in Berlin against Zverev for abuse accusations, a penalty order for €450,000. Zverev chose to appeal that decision; that’s what this trial is…

Gaspar Ribeiro Lança
Gaspar Ribeiro Lança

#RolandGarros tournament director Amélie Mauresmo to the media minutes before the start of the tournament: On Nadal: “As you can imagine, we had something planned for him. But he wants to leave the door open so we’re not going to push him to do anything. It’s his decision when…


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