Tomic ends silence over father as he bows out of French Open with injury

John Tomic awaiting trial in Madrid for alleged assault of son’s hitting partner

Bernard Tomic  receives medical treatment during his  match against Victor Hanescu of Romania at the French Open. The Australian later withdrew from the tournament. Photograph:  Stephane Mahe/Reuters

Bernard Tomic receives medical treatment during his match against Victor Hanescu of Romania at the French Open. The Australian later withdrew from the tournament. Photograph: Stephane Mahe/Reuters

 

Australian Bernard Tomic talked about the controversy surrounding his father for the first time today, saying: “He’s still my dad, he’s still my coach, and I love him a lot.”

John Tomic is awaiting trial in Madrid for the alleged assault of his son’s hitting partner, Thomas Drouet, in the Spanish capital earlier this month.

Tomic Sr has been suspended from all ATP tournaments and barred from the French Open, with reports he could be allowed in as a spectator for his son’s first-round match against Victor Hanescu in Paris today also dismissed.

Tomic will be heading home to Monte Carlo with his father tomorrow after going out of the tournament, but today’s result had more to do with a hamstring injury than any effects of his off-court troubles.

The 20-year-old felt a tear in his right leg on only the second point and eventually withdrew trailing 7-5 7-6 (10/8) 2-1.

Tomic addressed the media prior to his press conference, saying: “I’d like to say some things before you guys ask me about them obviously involving my father.

“He’s here right now in Paris, so he’s still working with me, he’s still my dad, he’s still my coach, and I love him a lot.

“Involving the incidents that happened, I don’t want to talk about it a lot, or at all, I should say. And it’s a very difficult thing for me to put my words into that.”

Tomic insisted the furore had not affected his build-up to the tournament, saying: “I’m the type of guy where I can sort of let these things go.

“I was feeling fine. The last two weeks, I was training well, playing well, I didn’t think a lot about it, was not worried. To be honest, I didn’t think about it the last week. But then that happened in the match today, and it’s unlucky. But that’s tennis.

“Nothing’s changed between my dad and I. It’s still the same. He’s still with me, he’s in Paris in my hotel.”

Tomic Sr’s ban means he will not be able to accompany his son to any tournaments, assuming Wimbledon follow the French Open in preventing him entering the grounds.

Tomic revealed he is looking to appoint someone to work with him and his father who would be able to sit courtside during matches.

He said: “I’ve thought about it. I probably have a choice of two or three people now. I will decide that with my dad over the next week. I’d like to get someone in before the grass that can help me and my dad.”

Tomic began the season well, winning his first ATP World Tour title in Sydney and reaching the third round of the Australian Open, but since then he has won just five tour matches and his ranking has slipped to 61.

The weather badly affected today’s schedule, with nearly four hours lost to rain, but that did not prove too much of a headache for 26th seed Grigor Dimitrov.

The Bulgarian rising star benefited from the withdrawal of his opponent, Alejandro Falla, in the second set and could meet Novak Djokovic, who he beat in Madrid, in the third round.

Twelfth seed Tommy Haas has been enjoying one of the best seasons of his career at the age of 35 and he had little trouble defeating Frenchman Guillaume Rufin 7-6 (7/4) 6-1 6-3.

Former French Open finalist Sam Stosur beat the weather to march into the second round in Paris.

The Australian, who lost to Francesca Schiavone in the final in 2010, has an excellent recent record at Roland Garros having reached at least the semi-finals in three of the last four years.

Today Stosur was up against the remarkable 42-year-old Kimiko Date-Krumm but it was not a good afternoon for the Japanese player, who failed to win a game until she was 6-0 3-0 down.

She then rallied but ninth seed Stosur was only held up briefly as she eased to a 6-0 6-2 victory in an hour and four minutes.

Stosur had been in poor form on clay prior to the tournament in Rome two weeks ago, but a run to the semi-finals, where she pushed Victoria Azarenka hard, has put the Australian in good spirits.

She said: “The tournament in Rome was good, and I feel like I have practised very well leading into today’s match. I thought I played well today.

“The first hurdle is done but there are many, many more ahead of me. I have got to stay on track but I think this was a very good start.”

Stosur was also happy to get her match over quickly, saying: “When I was playing, it was actually not too bad. It was spitting a little bit when we went out there. You think, ‘Oh, are we going to start, are we not?’

“Luckily for me, I was able to finish the match before this last downpour came. So I guess it’s the best way to deal with sometimes a frustrating situation.”

The heavy downpour was reasonably brief, and the players returned to court just over an hour after leaving it.