Arsalan Rezai, the father of and former coach French player Aravane, discusses his break with his daughter, whom he has not spoken to in nearly three months. Arsalan Rezai was banned from the Australian Open after a confrontation with Aravane in Melbourne.
"At 24, she chose to stand on her own,” he told the French site leJDD.fr. "All she wants, I respect it. I just want her to be happy. But I'm scared for her. Today, she smiles, the doors open. But there are scavengers around her. They manipulate her."
A native of Iran, Arsalan denied being authoritarian with his daughter. “If I did not want Aravane be free, I would give her a scarf and religious books," he said.
Arsalan denied abusing Aravane in Melbourne, saying that the only dispute they had was over her wanting to hire a private coach, and he added that he never threatened her boyfriend.
"I didn’t accept or refuse," he said. "And she left. She returned to the tournament in Melbourne with her brother, and she started crying. I do not know what she told the WTA. I do not even know her boyfriend. But it seems that Mansour Bahrami (a former player from Iran who lives in Paris) talked to a lot of reporters. Bahrami is trying to give advice, but he’s profiteer and not a true Iranian."
Arsalan said that neither Aravane nor his son has spoken to him since a phone call he made to them during the Miami tournament. He says he doesn’t have any money and is worried for his future.
"If she is happy like this, destroying the family, I accept it...I dedicated myself to my daughter and I have no retirement. I'll see if I can find a job, my wife, but at nearly 60 years old it’s not easy. I want to help young players get motivated, I have the experience...The whole family loves her. We’re all sorry to see her go away and stop thinking about us...Every time she loses, I cry."