This thread is about John Tomic's actions, yes stick to that topic. It's not about my grandad is bigger than your grandad.
John Tomic claims his headbutt was in self defence.
Tomic's dad says headbutt was self-defence
The father of Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic has told a Spanish court he acted in self-defence when he headbutted his son's training partner and broke his nose.
John Tomic denied a charge of assault against Thomas Drouet in a Saturday afternoon brawl outside a hotel where players in the Madrid Masters were staying, his lawyer Carmen Dieguez told journalists at a Madrid court.
"I don't feel guilty. I did not do anything wrong," Tomic told reporters.
Tomic opted not to pay a fine and a second hearing to decide if he is guilty of assault will be held next Tuesday.
Ms Dieguez said tensions between Tomic and Drouet had been rising for several weeks prior to the brawl.
She says Tomic struck Drouet with his head because Drouet was holding his arms, and he had to protect himself from falling over.
PHOTO: John Tomic watches his son in the Australian Open last year. (File photo) (Getty Images: Ryan Pierse)
"There was some pushing and he acted in legitimate self-defence," Ms Dieguez said.
Drouet, who is from Monaco, appeared at the court house with a neck brace and white plaster over his nose.
"I feel bad for Bernard too, because the person who must be sad today is Bernard, with his father doing this again," he said.
"I wish him all the best. Really, Bernard is a nice guy. I wish him all the best and I will recover and see what happens."
Tomic, who is also his son's coach, was arrested several hours after the fight in the central avenue Paseo de la Castellana and released ahead of the hearing, police said.
If found guilty he could be sentenced to between three months and three years in prison.
'Very odd situation'
L'Equipe newspaper said Drouet sustained a broken nose, stitches to a cut above his eye and bruising to the back of his neck.
L'Equipe quoted Bernard Tomic as saying he had been with his physical trainer at the time of the incident and had seen or heard nothing.
"It's a very odd situation," he was quoted as saying by the paper.
"I wanted to talk to Thomas, but he was in hospital. I haven't seen my father since then."
Tennis Australia said in a statement yesterday that the allegations against John Tomic were "very concerning".
What's important for us at Tennis Australia is that this allegation is thrown toward John, his dad, and not to Bernard.
Former player Pat Cash, in Madrid for media commitments, said the Drouet incident and allegations of another involving Bernard have been the talk of the tournament.
"They're saying how they had an argument and Thomas was actually defending Bernard saying 'hey listen, give him a little break, he's quite good on clay'," Cash told Channel Nine this morning.
"They went into an argument, John was very negative and said 'hey, walk this way, come here' and that's when the incident happened.
"Of course there was some history before that - before they arrived in Madrid there was allegations that John had punched Bernard in the face on a practice court.
"Again, Thomas stood up for Bernard, and that's being investigated by the APT."
Cash says he hopes the brawl has a "rosy ending".
"If it shows that John is guilty I don't think he'll be seen on the tennis circuit anymore and in the end I think that might be a good thing for Bernard in his tennis career," he said.
"He would probably still have some input into Bernard's career behind the scenes, but I doubt very much whether he would be at any of the tournaments."
Bernard Tomic has made a poor start to this year's European clay court season and lost in straight sets to Czech veteran Radek Stepanek in the first round in Madrid.
Tomic, currently ranked 49th, last year created more headlines off the court than on it, including run-ins with police in his sports car and claims he was not trying hard enough.
The 20-year-old recently was recalled to Australia's Davis Cup team after captain Patrick Rafter disciplined him for a lack of professionalism following admissions that he gave less than full effort in matches at New York and Shanghai last year.
Tomic won both his singles matches and clinched victory for Australia in their Davis Cup Asia-Oceania Group One second-round tie against Uzbekistan last month.