Sept 18 (Reuters) - John Tomic, father and coach of Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic, has denied assaulting his son’s training partner in a Madrid street in May but said he now wished he really had punched the Frenchman.
The 49-year-old was sentenced to eight months in prison by a Spanish court earlier this month for head-butting Thomas Drouet in the face and breaking his nose. [ID: nL4N0H22G2]
Tomic denied the charges in a Spanish court, saying he acted in self-defence, and did not have to serve jail time because his sentence was less than two years.
“Look, I have to take consequences about court, about (Drouet‘s) story, and I will accept the decision of court and what I have to do, but I didn’t do that (head-butt him),” Tomic, who has also been banned from ATP events, told the Sydney Morning Herald.
”It was collision head to head - when he hit me I just grabbed him and it was collision head to head.
“I know that I didn’t do that, and I am just now regretting why I didn’t punch him, when I see this campaign against Bernard, against me, I‘m really regretting why I didn’t punch him now, because I think that he deserved that.”
A burly former taxi driver born in Bosnia, Tomic tangled with Drouet on the central Paseo de la Castellana during the Madrid Masters in which Bernard was competing. (Reporting by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; Editing by Sonia Oxley)