Tomic's hitting partner calls for father ban

Tuesday, May 07, 2013 /by
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Bernard Tomic's hitting partner wants the Australian tennis player's father banned from the sport following an alleged head-butt.

John Tomic was charged with assault after allegedly head-butting hitting partner Thomas Drouet on Saturday outside a hotel before the Madrid Open.

"I want to help Bernard forbid his father from having access to tournaments," Drouet said in an interview published Tuesday in French sports daily L'Equipe. "I want him to be banned from the ATP and the WTA.

"He is a dangerous person, who has nothing to do in this sport of gentlemen."

A Madrid court said Monday that John Tomic disputed the charges and will face trial May 14.

Drouet, of Monaco, also said he saw the elder Tomic hit his son last week.

"John hit his son on the court, while we were training in Monaco," Drouet said. "He punched him in the face. Blood was dripping from his mouth onto the court. Tuesday, he attacks his son, Saturday me, what's next?"

Drouet said John Tomic spit in his face before head-butting him outside a Madrid hotel.

"I think he was waiting for me to hit first," he said. "I didn't move. And then, he gave me a big head-butt. I collapsed. I called one time for help, I was a bit convulsed and I lost consciousness.

"It's Josko (the team physio), who, seeing John return alone, got worried. He found me on the ground covered in blood. John left me like that. On the ground, bloodied and unconscious."

L'Equipe published a photo of Drouet with his nose heavily bandaged and wearing a neck brace.

John Tomic has claimed he was acting in self-defense.

Drouet said at Monday's hearing, Tomic's lawyer came to him and said "he admits everything." But when Tomic found out that Drouet would demand the $4,000 permitted under that jurisdiction, "John said he was innocent. He's insane. A perverse manipulator."

Bernard Tomic reportedly said he had been with his physical trainer at the time of the altercation with the hitting partner.

According to Drouet, Bernard Tomic came to see him and apologized, saying his father "went too far."

Tennis Australia is working with the ATP tour to investigate the allegations.

The 53rd-ranked Bernard Tomic lost in straight sets to Radek Stepanek in the first round at the Madrid Open on Sunday.

The 20-year-old Tomic has been seen as Australia's most promising player. However, in November, he Tomic was fined $1,750 and put on a 12-month good-behavior bond after twice being stopped by police for driving offenses.

In October, police were called to a high-rise apartment building in the Australian resort city of Surfers Paradise after residents saw two men, one of them naked, wrestling and fighting in a hot tub on the balcony. One of the men was later identified as Bernard Tomic.

Other abusive fathers have made headlines.

Jelena Dokic's father and former coach has been banned indefinitely from all WTA Tour events after a series of public indiscretions, including accusing Australian Open organizers of fixing the 2001 tournament draw. Damir Dokic also spent time in jail for threatening the life of the Australian ambassador to Belgrade and illegally possessing two bombs and other weapons.

Former French Open champion Mary Pierce successfully applied for a restraining order against her father Jim. He was ejected from the French Open in 1993 after he punched a spectator and was subsequently banned from the WTA Tour.

His behavior prompted the WTA to introduce a new rule, commonly known as the "Jim Pierce rule." banning a player's disruptive family members or coaches from attending tournaments.

Mary Pierce, who hired a bodyguard, pulled out of Wimbledon in 1994 after her father told a newspaper he intended to defy the ban.

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