PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) - Bernard Tomic’s father accompanied his son to Paris despite being barred from attending any events sanctioned by the governing bodies of tennis, the Australian said on Tuesday.
After losing in the first round of the French Open, Tomic stood buy his dad John who faces a court case for assaulting his son’s former practice partner Frenchman Thomas Drouet earlier this month in Madrid.
Drouet now works as Marion Bartoli’s hitting partner while John Tomic, who claims he acted in self defence, came to Paris with his son, although he was not allowed to enter the Roland Garros stadium.
Tomic retired from his match against Romanian Victor Hanescu while 7-5 7-6 (8) 2-1 down with a leg problem.
The 20-year-old Tomic said in a pre-news conference statement that he would not answer questions about his father -- although he did eventually talk about how he has been coping with the situation.
“(My father) is here right now in Paris, so he’s still working with me, he’s still my dad, he’s still my coach, and I love him a lot,” said Tomic.
“Involving the incidents that happened, I don’t want to talk about it a lot - or at all, I should say. And it’s a very difficult thing for me to put my words into that.”
He was then quizzed about the subject and revealed that he was looking for someone to help him and his father going into the grasscourt season.
My dad is still my coach, and he’ll always be, because I grew up with him and he knows me better than everyone else,” he explained. “I might put someone else on board who can help my dad (...) Not sort of a coach but someone just to help me a little bit,” he said without elaborating.
“I haven’t made a decision yet who. It might be a few weeks away and stuff, maybe after the grass. But I’ll see. I’d like to get someone in before the grass who can help me and my dad.”
Tomic, however, said that the off-court events involving his father had not affected his tennis.
“The last two weeks, I was training well, playing well, didn’t think a lot about it, was not worried,” he said.
“Nothing has changed between my dad and I. It’s still the same. He is still with me, he is in Paris in my hotel. We’re leaving tomorrow I think back to Monaco, so he is still the same. Nothing has really changed.”
The case was postponed until October by a Madrid court.
John Tomic could be handed a prison sentence of up to three years and a possible fine if found guilty on a charge of causing criminal injury. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Martyn Herman)