Alexander Zverev recently waited in vain for good news.
But the beginning of the Davis Cup week in Trier began again with positive news for the Olympic tennis champion. While Zverev was preparing with the German team for the qualifying duel with Switzerland this Friday and Saturday, the men's organization ATP stopped investigating against him because of his ex-girlfriend Olga Sharipova's allegations of violence. The German number one therefore no longer has to fear punishment - unless incriminating evidence emerges.
This ends for the time being a story that hung over Zverev like a dark shadow for more than two years. The 25-year-old had always rejected allegations that he had violently attacked his ex-girlfriend. As long as the investigations by the independent agency commissioned by ATP were ongoing, an uneasy feeling remained. "I'm grateful this is finally resolved and my priority now is to recover from my injury and focus on what I love most in the world - tennis," Zverev wrote on Instagram.
Zverev wants to become competitive again
The focus now is on the Davis Cup duel with Switzerland. In a white shirt and red headband, Zverev prepared for the "tough nut" in the Trier Arena, as team boss Michael Kohlmann described the comparison with the team around Swiss veteran Stan Wawrinka.
For Zverev, the appearance is important in two ways. It's about qualifying with the team for the group stage from September 12th to 17th. Above all, it's about making progress on his comeback after a month-long injury break due to the serious foot injury in order to be competitive again on the ATP tour soon.
He sees progress in the right direction and is fit and ready, said Zverev of "Bild" and expressed anticipation for the Davis Cup. "We have the group games in Germany. That's a huge motivation. That's the biggest thing."
When he returned around the turn of the year, Zverev had lost all of his singles at the United Cup. At the Australian Open in Melbourne, he then failed in the second round in four sets against the American Michael Mmoh. A lack of rhythm, a recent injury and a lack of self-confidence - the list of problems was and still is long.
Find the feeling for tennis
"I don't really have a feeling for the game, what I have to do in which situations," revealed the 25-year-old, who was also plagued by thigh problems. Zverev used the time after the early Aus Down Under in his adopted home of Monte Carlo for further intensive training sessions. The weather didn't play along a few times, so Zverev had to train indoors. In preparation for the duel with Switzerland, that wasn't bad.
"He makes a good impression," said Kohlmann. The national coach therefore relies 100 percent on his top player. "He's a lot further this week. I hope he'll be the leader of the team," said Kohlmann, who was of course also pleased about the news that ATP's investigations had been discontinued. "I think that's a relief for him."
Freed from the burden, Zverev should provide two points for Germany, then progress would be almost certain. It remains to be seen how quickly Zverev will find his old form again. "Sascha was injured for seven months, so it will take another seven months to get back to where he was 14 months ago. It's an eternity in sport," said tennis legend Boris Becker in the Eurosport podcast "Das Gelbe vom Ball".