Tennis-Police investigating Rezai family incident

MELBOURNE Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:40am GMT

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MELBOURNE Jan 24 (Reuters) - Australian police are investigating an incident which led to a member of French player Aravane Rezai's family being banned from WTA events and which the tour described as a "serious safety matter".

"Police are investigating an alleged incident involving a 23-year-old woman on the 18th of January," a spokeswoman for Victoria police said on Monday.

"As the investigation is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Rezai, who was seeded 17th, went out 6-0 3-6 7-5 to Czech Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the first round of the Australian Open on Jan. 17.

She pulled out of the women's doubles at the year's first grand slam "for personal reasons", according to her website.

The WTA, which runs the professional women's tennis tour, issued a statement on Sunday regarding the banning of one of the members of her family.

"The health and well being of our players is the number one priority for the WTA," it read.

"A serious safety matter has been brought to the WTA's attention, which has resulted in a family member of Aravane Rezai being indefinitely suspended from all future WTA events pending our investigation."

The 23-year-old Rezai had her breakthrough year in 2010, winning titles in Madrid and Bastad and ending the year in the top 20 in the world for the first time.

"In respect of the privacy of the player involved, the WTA is not in a position to comment further on the details of the matter," the statement concluded.

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; editing by Martyn Herman)

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