British tennis icon Andy Murray hinted at a tense relationship with Alexander Zverev ahead of their third-round clash at Indian Wells on Tuesday.
The German Olympic champion has been the subject of controversy recently after being accused of domestic violence by his former girlfriend Olga Sharypova.
Murray has not specifically commented on the allegations, but last week said he supported the ATP Tour’s decision to investigate the claims.
The allegations against Zverev came to light after a story published by Racquet Magazine in November 2020 extensively detailed claims by Sharypova that Zverev had physically assaulted her while she was travelling on tour with the world no.4.
The ATP only last week ordered an independent investigation into the allegations against Zverev. Murray criticised the delay in action by the governing body but supported plans to implement a more rigorous policy on the issue – as well as commenting on his relationship with Zverev ahead of their match.
“I wouldn’t say we are best friends. We don’t really chat a whole lot," said Murray, who successfully defeated US Open quarter-finalist Carlos Alcaraz in the second round.
Zverev welcomed the independent inquiry as he believes it will finally clear his name. Since the allegations surfaced, the German has reached two Grand Slam semi-finals and finished on the top step of the podium at the Tokyo Olympics.
Zverev will undoubtedly be a tough test for Murray as both men bid to reach the last-16, but the Brit has impressed recently.
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He performed admirably in a five-set defeat by Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open and defeated the impressive teenager Alcaraz 5-7 6-3 6-2 on Sunday night.
“I’m slowly starting to get there again, getting to a level where it wouldn’t be a surprise if I won a tournament,” added Murray.
“It’s not easy playing with metal hips, not easy with everything that goes into prepping and getting ready for these events. It is challenging but these wins make it worth it.
“I do genuinely believe I can win tournaments again, can have big results against the top players. There’s nothing that has happened recently to change that, barring the Denis Shapovalov match that I played at Wimbledon where I got smoked.
“Otherwise there is nothing in any of the matches that I played since to make me doubt I can still win.”
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