Father of Australian tennis star assaults son’s hitting partner

Published On May 6, 2013 | By Jill Saftel

We all know sports parents can get a little intense, but Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic‘s father took it to another level when he assaulted his son’s hitting partner. John Tomic, who also acts as Bernard’s coach, was charged with assaulting Thomas Drouet before this week’s Madrid Open.

According to a report from The Associated Press, a Madrid court said Monday that the elder Tomic disputed the assault charges and will facetrial on May 14. He cannot be tried immediately because he disputed the facts as they were laid out by prosecutors, and under Spanish law a speedy trial can only be held if both sides agree on the facts. And although a speedy trial can lead to reduced penalties, that won’t happen here because John Tomic didn’t agree to the facts.

Via an Australian newspaper, the Herald Sun, Drouet said that John Tomic headbutted him on Saturday. The incident was part of an altercation outside the players hotel.

Not surprisingly, Tomic lost in straight sets to Radek Stepanek in the first round on Sunday. Apparently your father headbutting your hitting partner doesn’t bode well for pre-match nerves.

The Herald Sun also reported that the elder Tomic will likely be barred from the sport for life after the attack on Drouet. It’s also not his first foray into the angry and bizarre – in 2006, he was involved in a road rage incident that prompted allegations he had attempted to run another car containing fellow coaches off the road, according to the Herald Sun.

He has also regularly threatened officials, journalists and coaches. It sounds like the world of tennis might be better off without John Tomic in it.

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About The Author

Jill studies journalism at Northeastern University, covers Hockey East for College Hockey News and is the sports editor for The Huntington News. You can follow her on Twitter at @jillsaftel, just don't ask her to choose between hockey and baseball, it's impossible.