Roger Federer recently received flak from tennis fans on social media as his old remarks on Alexander Zverev’s domestic abuse allegations resurfaced following the German’s inclusion in Laver Cup 2024.
Laver Cup’s Team Europe announced Zverev’s entry into the squad along with Carlos Alcaraz and Daniil Medvedev for the 2024 edition, scheduled to be held in September in Berlin, Germany.
Fans have already expressed their discontent over Zverev’s inclusion as he prepares to undergo a trial over domestic abuse allegations leveled by former partner Brenda Patea. Notably, this is the second time such accusations have been made against the German.
Olya Sharypova, another ex-partner of Zverev, too had blamed him in October 2020 for inflicting physical harm. Interestingly, Zverev was managed by Team8, a PR agency partly owned by Roger Federer, before the German announced a split in January 2021.
Later in 2021, tennis journalist Ben Rothenberg asked Federer to comment if the split between Zverev and Team8 had anything to do with Sharypova’s claims.
“Well, I mean, of course I’m very close to Tony and Team8, but at the same time these are decisions that Tony takes, and the team. Look, Sascha is a great guy. I’m really happy for him when he does well. But I don’t get involved in those types of decisions, to be honest… and all of the allegations, that’s super private stuff that I really don’t want to comment,” the Swiss replied.
The 20-time Grand Slam champion’s response recently grabbed eyeballs on X (formerly Twitter), with tennis fans up in arms.
“Absolutely embarrassing from @rogerfederer . After decades of media training you would think he could at least come up with better answers than this shameful support of a man accused by 2 ex-girlfriends of domestic abuse,” a fan wrote.
“Woof. Terrible answer. Run Roger, run,” wrote another.
Here are a few more reactions:
Roger Federer didn’t feel “super comfortable” talking about allegations leveled against Alexander Zverev
During the exchange with Ben Rothenberg in 2021, Roger Federer suggested that he was unwilling to make any comments and wanted Alexander Zverev to concentrate on his career. He said:
“I don’t know that I want to talk about it, to be honest – I don’t want to bring this subject up. I feel like I want Sascha to focus on his tennis and who am I now, months later, to comment on it?
“I understand that, Ben, you want to write something about it. But you understand me too, that I don’t feel super comfortable talking about it.”
Notably, the ATP launched an independent investigation into Brenda Patea’s claims against Alexander Zverev in October 2021. After 15 months of the probe, the tennis body gave a clean chit to the German, citing ‘lack of evidence’.