Alexander Zverev, the No. 4 tennis player in the world and Tokyo Olympics gold medalist, signed several tennis balls before throwing one into the crowd of spectators after winning his first round match at the 2021 U.S. Open.
The spectator who caught his pass was free agent wide receiver Dez Bryant. In true Bryant fashion, he caught the ball with ease.
Following the celebratory gesture, Zverev will look to win his first Grand Slam. The 24-year-old won his first-round match against Sam Querrey 6-4, 7-5, 6-2 on Tuesday.
With the victory against Querrey, Zverev extended his winning streak to 12 matches. The German finished runner-up in the 2020 U.S. Open final.
Zverev faced controversy prior to the beginning of this year's U.S. Open as he denied allegations of past domestic abuse against his former partner, Olga Sharypova. Last October, she said she's a victim of domestic abuse in a since-deleted Instagram post, according to ESPN. She went on to name Zverev as the partner on a Russian website, and alleged that he tried to strangle her with a pillow and hit her head against a wall in a hotel before the 2019 Open.
Sharypova said more allegations of physical and verbal abuse by Zverev in an interview with Slate.com, including where he allegedly told her he wished she'd die. He denied the allegations in a statement, and said he is pursuing legal action.
"I have engaged my German and American lawyers in the matter," Zverev wrote in a statement on Twitter. "They have already obtained a preliminary injunction against the source and the author who published the false allegations. The court followed our arguments and states, the accusations aroused are defamatory and false. The lawyers have therefore initiated further proceedings against the source and the author. I categorically and unequivocally deny having abused Olya. I also fully support the creation of an ATP domestic violence policy. I will not address this matter any further."
As for Bryant, the three-time Pro Bowler has yet to sign with an NFL team ahead of the 2021 season. However, in July, Bryant tweeted that he "has faith" that he will land on a roster.
In his quest to land a spot, Bryant also posted workout videos showcasing the "grind" he has put in.
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