Everyone is making the same joke — and it’s the most troubling subject at the Australian Open.
Germany’s Alexander Zverev was this week roasted for a crime against fashion as he rocked a plain white singlet top from adidas at Melbourne Park.
Unfortunately, the jokes didn’t stop there.
The top has allowed the No. 6 seed to show off his biceps on his way to the fourth round — but his appearance left some giggling about the size of his guns compared to rival players who pull-off the singlet look, including Rafael Nadal and his cannon arms.
But it is Zverev’s troubled personal life that has now become the subject of some insensitive trolling on social media and in tennis circles.
Zverev was in October forced to vehemently deny allegations of abuse from ex-girlfriend Olga Sharypova.
Sharypova detailed her claims in a feature story with the New York Times, saying Zverev had become increasingly emotionally and physically abusive over the course of their 13-month relationship.
Zverev said the accusations were “unfounded” and “untrue”.
At the same time, the 23-year-old confirmed he will have his first baby this year after his former German model girlfriend announced she is pregnant with his child.
Brenda Patea, who dated Zverev for less than 12 months, revealed in October she was 20 weeks pregnant with his child.
Zverev and Sharypova reportedly broke up in April 2019 before she opened up in an Instagram post about allegedly being in an abusive relationship, claiming at once point she hit her head against a wall and was choked.
Sharypova did not initially name Zverev in the post but when contacted by Russian news outlet Championat, confirmed she was referring to the 2020 US Open finalist.
That dark matter is the background behind the unsavoury joke that has followed Zverev and his outfit this week.
The style of the white singlet has led some to joke he is wearing a so-called “wife-beater” top — with some criticising his apparel provider adidas of making an oversight.
The distasteful jokes were discussed on a recent episode of The Tennis Podcast.
Tennis commentator and host Catherine Whitaker said she did not want to mention the nickname being used to describe the shirt.
“He was wearing an item of clothing provided to him presumably by his kit sponsor, which has a nickname, a pretty well known nickname in some parts of the world, certainly in the UK and in the US as well,” she said.
“I’m not going to say the nickname because it’s pretty horrible really. But it is well known and still used in some circles and given that nickname it feels like a pretty stupid decision to be wearing that item of clothing. Also he looks pretty silly in it.”
Co-host David Law said it seemed an “unwise” decision..
“A lot of people, the moment they saw it, they thought of that nickname,” he said.
“And given all the context of his last 6-8 months and the allegations made against him, it just seems unwise at least.”
The subject of his personal life was again brought to the surface earlier this week in an awkward post-match interview.
When asked by Australian tennis legend John Fitzgerald if he was getting taller, Zverev responded: “I hope not, that’d make it hard for me to find a wife”.
Zverev is in action on Day 7, playing in the night session for a spot in the quarter-finals against Dusan Lajovic.