Thursday 17 October 2019

Tomic will stand by banned father

Paul Newman

BERNARD TOMIC'S controversial father and coach has been banned from entering the grounds at Roland Garros and is being denied credentials at all tournaments on the men's tour following a physical confrontation with his son's hitting partner.

However, the 20-year-old Australian is keeping faith with him. "He's here right now in Paris," said Bernard. "He's still working with me. He's still my dad. He's still my coach and I love him a lot."

A difficult month for Tomic ended in pain at the French Open yesterday when a torn leg muscle forced him to retire from his first-round match when trailing Romania's Victor Hanescu 7-5 7-6 2-1.

Tomic insisted afterwards that the furore surrounding his father, John, had not affected his preparations, but the former world junior No 1 looked uneasy as he talked in public for the first time following the incident earlier this month which has cast the latest shadow over his roller-coaster career.

Tomic Snr will appear in court in Spain in the autumn after being accused of head-butting Bernard's hitting partner, Thomas Drouet, during a confrontation before the recent Madrid Masters.

Drouet, who suffered a broken nose and other injuries, later claimed that John Tomic – who denied being the aggressor – had also punched his son in the face during a training session in Monte Carlo.

Novak Djokovic, who has made this tournament his priority for the year in the hope of completing his set of Grand Slam titles, overcame a potentially tricky first-round match by beating Belgium's David Goffin 7-6 6-4 7-5.

In the women's singles, Britain's Elena Baltacha was beaten 6-3 6-0 by New Zealand's Marina Erakovic.

Baltacha, playing her first Grand Slam tournament since last summer following ankle surgery, won the first two games, but Kiwi Erakovic quickly found her range and took command with a fine combination of thumping ground strokes and well-judged drop shots. (© Independent News Service)

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