Zverev's lawyer rejects assault accusations during trial in Berlin

Alexander Zverev's lawyer has reject all assault accusations against the tennis player in a trial that started in Berlin on Friday while he playing at the French Open grand slam.

The Olympic champion from Germany is appealing against a €450,000 ($487,870) penalty order on assault charges.

Defence lawyer Alfred Dierlamm said that the accusations made by his ex-girlfriend Brenda Patea are fictitious. The complaint, which was made around a year and a half after the alleged incident in May 2020, was closely linked to a dispute over the custody of their daughter, Dierlamm said.

The defence lawyer said that photos, videos and witness statements from the days after the alleged incident, which is said to have included a brief strangulation, showed that there were no visible injuries.

"There were no signs of disharmony or fights and no strangulation marks, and that was two days after the alleged incident," Dierlamm said, adding that the then couple went out for dinner in a good mood with Zverev's mother in Hamburg.

According to the indictment, which is based on the statements of Zverev's ex-girlfriend Patea, the player allegedly pushed her against the wall and choked her in the hallway of her rented Airbnb flat in Berlin during an argument in May 2020.

She subsequently suffered from shortness of breath and was in severe pain, the public prosecutor said. The pain and difficulty swallowing lasted for several days.

A penalty order was issued against Zverev without a trial, according to which he was to pay a fine of €450,000 for assault.

Zverev is currently competing at the French Open in Paris and didn't appear in court as his presence is not required. A total of 10 days of trial have been scheduled so far.