Alexander Zverev to pay $327,000 in settlement of abuse case with ex

A German court on Friday dropped charges against Alexander Zverev over allegations of assault on his ex-girlfriend after an agreement was reached just hours before his scheduled semi-final match at the French Open.

Zverev’s former partner Brenda Patea has “no interest in continuing the prosecution,” said Inga Wahlen, deputy spokeswoman for the Berlin criminal courts.

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The plaintiff and the tennis star had decided to “peacefully resolve this simmering conflict, also in the interest of their child,” she said.

The appeal hearing began last week in Berlin, but the world’s number 4 tennis player, who was scheduled to face Casper Ruud in the semifinals at Roland Garros on Friday, was absent from the hearing.

As part of the settlement announced on Friday, Zverev agreed to pay 200,000 euros (327,000 Australian dollars), with the majority going to the state treasury and the rest to a fund for charities, the court spokeswoman said.

The German had already been sentenced to a fine of 450,000 euros (735,000 Australian dollars) in the same case in October.

He was accused of strangling Patea “briefly” “with both hands” in May 2020, the court said.

The alleged incident occurred in the stairwell of her home in the capital, the court said.

Patea is said to have suffered “breathing difficulties and considerable pain” as a result of the attack.

Zverev denied the allegations and appealed.

After the agreement was announced on Friday, his lawyers stressed that he “remains considered innocent.”

“We are pleased that an agreement has been reached,” said Katharina Dierlamm, one of Zverev’s defense attorneys.

“It is for the child’s benefit that they are together and that it has the chance to grow up without conflict.”

Patea’s lawyer Kristin Hartmann told DW: “We have applied for a settlement. The daughter has really suffered. Now both can look to the future and move on with their lives.”

“We ended this deal with the feeling that people should stop throwing things at each other.”

The German has long maintained his innocence and told reporters in May before the trial began: “I know what I did. I know what I didn’t do. That’s what will come out at the end of the day and I have to trust that.”

The athlete’s lawyers had stated that the criminal complaint, filed more than a year after the incident, was related to a dispute over custody and child support payments for the couple’s daughter.

However, Patea’s lawyer rejected the assumption that the case was only about money.

The trial in Berlin opened in the middle of the two-week French Open tournament, and hearings were originally scheduled to last until mid-July.

Zverev has won 11 consecutive matches since winning the title in Rome last month, but he has never reached the final at Roland Garros.

In January 2023, the ATP, which organizes the men’s tennis tour, closed an investigation into allegations of domestic violence against Zverev in connection with a female tennis player after finding insufficient evidence.

The ATP launched an investigation against Zverev in October 2021 after his ex-girlfriend Olya Sharypova made allegations.

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