Georgian tennis star Nikoloz Basilashvili, ranked 27th in the world, was on Sunday charged with physically assaulting his ex-wife, prosecutors said.
A court in Tbilisi charged Basilashvili with perpetrating “violence against a family member committed in the presence of a minor,” before releasing him on US$30,000 bail, prosecutor Natia Guruli said.
He faces up to three years in prison if found guilty.
Basilashvili’s ex-wife, Neka Dorokashvili, on Sunday told Mtavari TV that Basilashvili “physically assaulted” her on Friday in the presence of their five-year-old son.
Basilashvili denied the charges, his lawyer Irma Chkadua said.
The 28-year-old won his second ATP Tour title at the China Open in 2018 by defeating world No. 4 Juan Martin del Potro in the final, three months after winning the German Open in Hamburg.
He went on to defend the Hamburg title last year.
In May last year, Basilashvili reached a career high of 16th in the world.
Meanwhile, New Zealand is to stage a team-based tennis tournament for local men’s players from Wednesday next week, organizers said yesteray, an event marking the southern hemisphere’s first professional competition since the COVID-19 pandemic brought global sport to a halt.
All 112 matches of the “NZ Premier League” are to be played in Auckland without spectators, but broadcast live on TV or YouTube, Tennis New Zealand said.
After a strict two-month lockdown, New Zealand has begun easing disease prevention measures and given the green light to some professional sports to restart.
“Training without a goal is not possible for professional and competitive athletes,” Tennis New Zealand high performance director Christophe Lambert said in a statement. “The NZ Premier League offers opportunities for our best players to have a home base competitive environment so they are ready to jump back in when the pro circuit starts again, but also for our younger players to get the experience needed to perform at the highest level.”
The men’s ATP Tour and women’s WTA Tour have been shut down since March 8.
New Zealand has no players in the top 500 of the ATP Tour singles rankings so the league is to be padded out with doubles specialists, college players and New Zealand-based foreign players.
British world No. 77 Cameron Norrie and New Zealand-born Ben McLachlan, a doubles specialist who switched allegiance to Japan and played in the Davis Cup, are two of the foreign entrants.
The event is to feature 24 players split into eight teams of three competing across three weeks.
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