Bernard Tomic's Father Under Investigation For Assault On Son's Practice Partner
Australia tennis player BERNARD TOMIC's father, JOHN, "is being investigated by police and the men's tennis tour over an alleged assault that left his son's practice partner unconscious in Madrid," according to Courtney Walsh of THE AUSTRALIAN. Frenchman THOMAS DROUET "was left with a broken nose and fractured vertebrae following an altercation outside the official Madrid Masters tournament hotel." Tour players JANKO TIPSAREVIC and ALEXANDR DOLGOPOLOV "are among those understood to have witnessed the altercation." John Tomic "was allegedly taken into police custody at the hotel with blood visible on his face" (THE AUSTRALIAN, 5/7). In Sydney, Linda Pearce contacted John Tomic via telephone in Madrid and reported Tomic's message was this: "I just want to say that I'm not in the jail, how they are writing." Was he in jail at any time in the past few days, however? There was no answer to that one, just a "friendly promise that everything would be 'proved'" Tuesday, and that "he would then call back, in the afternoon, to expand further." Tomic: "Hard to explain to you. I'm not in the jail, just say like that. Tomorrow I will say" (THE AGE, 5/7).
COURT HEARING: The LONDON TIMES reported John Tomic "told a court in Madrid that he acted in self-defence when he butted a member of his son’s coaching staff in the face." Drouet and John Tomic both "turned up to the hearing and sat just 15 metres apart outside the courtroom." Drouet had "a large dressing fixed to his nose with white surgical tape and a neck support." John Tomic "appeared unscathed apart from a small cut above his right eye." It was decided that because John Tomic "disputed the charge" of causing bodily harm, the hearing "could not take place." A further court appearance was scheduled for May 14 (LONDON TIMES, 5/6).
FINDING A NEW COACH: Also in Sydney, Dominic Bossi reported Australian tennis players "have called for Bernard Tomic to look for guidance elsewhere." Drouet was "said to be seen wearing a neck brace due to a fractured vertebrae sustained in the alleged attack." Tennis Australia coach WALLY MASUR, grand slam winner KEN ROSEWALL and former Wimbledon champion NEALE FRASER "have called for Tomic to end the coaching relationship with his father and seek a new mentor." Masur: ''I'm a tennis coach and I'm also a parent. I mentor a lot of the parents here with the kids that are trying to make that step up to be good professional players, and I'm just not a fan of the parent/coach." Rosewall said that he expected John Tomic "would remain an influential figure in his son's career," but believed that Bernard Tomic "must step out and explore other avenues on his own if he is to fulfil his potential." Fraser said that he hoped the ATP "would punish John Tomic if he were found guilty." Fraser: ''It's disgraceful" (SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 5/7). Also in Sydney, Schlink & Miranda reported South Australians DARREN CAHILL and ROGER RASHEED, both of whom are involved with overseas tennis interests, "have been mooted as candidates" if Bernard Tomic "decides to part company with his father." Former Australian Davis Cup player SANDON STOLLE said that "it would be best for Tomic if the ATP banned his father from the tour following previous controversies." Stolle: "It needs to happen. There's been too many occasions where things haven't been addressed." Dolgopolov confirmed that "he had called for assistance after finding Drouet unconscious in the street." He was unsure who attacked Drouet but said, "It wasn't good" (DAILY TELEGRAPH, 5/7).