ARTICLE IN LOCAL PAPER - Sydney Morning Herald:
The call was utterly unexpected, but the deep, heavily accented voice unmistakeable from the first hello. It was 9.13am in Melbourne, and it was John Tomic, in the late evening from Madrid, sounding cheerful enough, despite having just read media reports of his alleged arrest in the Spanish capital, and the court appearance for assault he is due to face on Monday.
After a few pleasantries, and a query as to why this journalist had not yet weighed into the controversy of the injured hitting partner, and the father-son dust up in Monte Carlo that apparently preceded it, Tomic's message, repeated several times, was this: "I just want to say that I'm not in the jail, how they are writing."
Yes, but was he in the jail in the past few days, as suggested? No answer to that one; just a jovial promise that everything would be proved tomorrow, and then he would call back to expand further. "Hard to explain to you," he said evasively. "I'm not in the jail, just say like that. Tomorrow I will say."
More questions about what had happened, and why, were stonewalled. Then with a parting "have a nice day" he was gone. Yet if reports out of Spain are accurate, Tomic's Monday in Madrid could be distinctly unpleasant.
Accounts of an incident last week involving Bernard Tomic's 29-year-old hitting partner Thomas Drouet are everywhere. It is alleged that a headbutt from Tomic senior outside a Madrid hotel left Drouet with a broken nose and fractured vertebrae, and that the Frenchman was seen around the Caja Magica tournament site with a cast on his nose and a neck brace. Other suggestions, too, reported in the French media, that the incident was retaliation for Drouet intervening to protect Bernard Tomic from his father at the recent Monte Carlo tournament.
All unproven, as yet, but the latest incident was enough to provoke a swift reaction on social media, including this tweet from two-time former Australian Open champion Johan Kriek: "Having a parent assault another tennis player is outrageous. John Tomic should be banned for life from all ATP and WTA events! Adios"
So it may prove, and Tomic, of course, is notoriously volatile, with a long history of combustible behaviour. Tennis Australia's response was brief. "Obviously media reports regarding an incident in Madrid are very concerning," the statement read. "We are working closely with ATP officials who are investigating the incident and are unable to comment further until the full facts are known."
Footnote: With all this as a backdrop, Bernard Tomic lost his opening round match at the Mutua Madrid Open 6-3, 6-2 to Czech veteran Radek Stepanek. Which, on a strange day, was perhaps the least surprising event of all.
Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/tennis/i...#ixzz2SUb4JvfX