Family ties bind Tomic as he stands by troubled dad

Tomic says his Dad is continuing to coach him and travel with him to tournaments despite assault charges.

Story highlights

  • Australian Bernard Tomic says his Dad is still his coach despite being banned from the ATP Tour
  • John Tomic faces a criminal trial in Spain in October charged with assault
  • Tomic Snr headbutted his son's training partner in Madrid in May
  • Bernard Tomic retired from the first-round of the French Open

Australian number one Bernard Tomic was quick to turn his attention to family matters after pulling out of the French Open saying he still loves his father despite a looming criminal trial.

John Tomic will face a Madrid court in October after headbutting his son's training partner Thomas Drouet outside a hotel in the Spanish capital in May.

Tomic, who coaches his 20-year-old son, has had his credentials for the men's tour revoked and was banned from attending the French Open at Roland Garros.

But his son explained that he is still being coached by his Dad and that he had traveled with him to the second grand slam of the season.

"My Dad is in Paris," Tomic told a media conference after retiring from his first-round match against Romanian Victor Hanescu while 7-5 7-6 (8) 2-1 down due to a hamstring injury.

"He's still my Dad and he is still working with me. I love him a lot."

Drouet was left with a broken nose following the incident with Tomic's father in Madrid.

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Tomic's lawyer Carmen Dieguez said the reason that he used his head to attack Drouet was because the tennis player, 29, was holding the coach's arms at the time and that he was acting in self-defence.

The 20-year-old Tomic was facing the media for the first time since the fracas but said: "I don't really want to talk about the incidents. It's all difficult to put into words and I want you to respect that.

"My Dad will always be my coach. He knows me better than anyone. But I may get someone in to help him and work with us.

"I haven't made a decision yet who. It might be a few weeks away, maybe after the grass," added Tomic, referring to the upcoming grass-court season ahead of the Wimbledon Championships which begin in London next month.

"But I'll see. I'd like to get someone in before the grass who can help me and my Dad."

World number 61 Tomic conceded defeat to Hanescu in Paris after suffering a muscle tear in his right hamstring.

Tomic broke into the limelight when he reached the quarterfinals of Wimbledon in 2011 as an 18-year-old but he has also been no stranger to controversy with his father during his short career.

Croatian-born John, who moved with his family to Australia when his son was three, has been coaching him since he was 13, even though the former taxi driver had no previous tennis experience.

In 2009, he was forced to publicly apologize after telling his son to walk off court in the middle of a match against fellow Australian Marinko Matosevic in Perth as he was unhappy with the officiating.

Despite the incident resulting in a one-month ban from the International Tennis Federation, a year later Tomic's father was railing at an Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley so vehemently about the scheduling of one of his son's matches that security had to be placed around the official.

Last year, the 20-year-old Tomic was booed off court at Wimbledon, picking up a code violation after smashing his racket, as he made a first round exit before then requesting that his father should be ejected from the stands at the Miami Masters later in the year.

"I know he's my father but he's annoying me," Bernard stated to the match referee.

Tomic's father has often clashed with Tennis Australia, having previously threatened to switch his son's allegiance to Croatia unless his demands were met.

Matters seemed to be improving as Bernard won his maiden ATP title in Sydney in January but he has yet to build on his fine record at junior level.


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