Russia’s Daniil Medvedev defeated Alexander Zverev in Sunday’s Rolex Paris Masters final, with the latter’s loss capping a week in which he attempted to downplay allegations of domestic abuse made by a former lover.
Medvedev won 5-7, 6-4 and 6-1 to win the prestigious ATP tournament, bouncing back in style despite losing the first set to end his German opponent’s 12-match winning streak.
“There are going to be a lot of people who are trying to wipe a smile off my face,” Zverev responded after the match, “but under this mask I’m smiling brightly.
“I feel incredible on court, I have the people I love around me, I’m probably going to be a father very soon, so everything is great in my life.
“The people who are trying can keep trying,” the fourth-seeded German concluded defiantly, “but I’m still smiling under this mask.”
The tennis star’s casual comments outraged some fans, with one accusing him of having an “appalling attitude” and another accusing him of being “inappropriate” considering the allegations against him.
appalling attitude 🤮
Very inappropriate thing to say. And downright creepy. 😡
Even though these are only allegations at this point, they are serious, and I don’t think saying something like that does him any good 😕.
Ok Zverev has lost me for good, even if he should be innocent (his recent actions don’t help to make it look that way though), what an arrogant, disgusting brat do you have to be to say these things? Inexcusable.
Others, however, defended the star and asserted that he should be deemed innocent until proven guilty.
If the allegations are false, I genuinely feel bad for the guy. If they are true, this is sickening.
Zverev was favorite to see off his Russian opponent, whose season so far had consisted of semi-final exits in the US Open and the ATP Cup, although the German’s tournament has been overshadowed by accusations levelled at him by former girlfriend Olga Sharypova.
The 23-year-old accused her former lover of domestic violence, and revealed physical abuse and humiliation during their ‘toxic’ 12-month relationship.
“It was really hard,” she told tennis reporter Ben Rothenberg. “He was pretty toxic, telling me terrible things, saying ‘You’re nobody,’ saying, ‘You didn’t earn anything in this life. I’m a successful person, I earn money – but you’re nobody,’
“I didn’t have time for a life,” she added. “One of the biggest reasons for our fights was that I wasn’t giving him all the attention he wanted.”
Heading into the final, Zverev had attempted to downplay Sharypova’s allegations, releasing an official statement as well as insisting that the act he was still smiling was all that mattered.
“I do realize now that there is going to always be people who will not want the best for you, and there is always going to be people that try to put you down when you’re on top,” he told reporters.
“It’s up to me if I’m going to let that happen, [but] I feel like I’m doing quite a good job of not letting that happen, and I’m still enjoying myself.
“As long as you still have a smile at the end of the day, I think that’s the most important in life.”
Third-seeded Russian Medvedev had defeated Argentina’s Diego Schwartzman and Milos Raonic of Canada in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively to reach his first final in over a year, but faced a tough assignment at the Palais omnisports de Paris-Bercy on Sunday after being pitted against Zverev.
The in-form German pulled off a stunning 6-4, 7-5 victory over Rafael Nadal in the semi, having previously seen off Stan Wawrinka in the quarters.