Greener grass beckons for Tomic

Bernard TOMIC, Marion Bartoli, Players


By Neil-Monticelli Harley-Rudd

Bernard Tomic deflatedBernard Tomic, narrowly ousted out of Queen’s in an opening round thriller by German Benjamin Becker, will be after more than just one more grass court contest ahead of The Championships at SW19.

The Australian ace, booed off court at Wimbledon for taking lumps of the hallowed turf following a shock defeat, will be unseeded at Eastbourne although that will not faze him.

However, his results have far from impressive ever since his father and coach John was controversially charged with assaulting Tomic’s former practice partner Thomas Drouet during the 2013 Madrid Masters in May.

Drouet, who recently became a practice partner for Devonshire Park regular Marion Bartoli, an ex-Eastbourne champion, could come briefly face-to-face with Tomic Snr at the 2013 AEGON International as the entire arena is only small.

The Frenchman was left which left with severe facial and neck injuries, although Tomic Snr is claiming he acted in self defence.

Tomic Snr is banned by the ATP Tour from being granted accreditation pending their investigation into the alleged assault, with the case in a Madrid court postponed until October.

But he was permitted to be a spectator at Queen’s in London and will be granted access to Eastbourne as a paying member of the public.

He saw his son fall 6-4 6-7 7-6 in his first match since retiring with a hamstring injury from Roland Garros, the 20-year-old’s decisive tiebreak littered with errors in an otherwise impressive display.

John TomicThe ATP rules can prohibit a person from gaining accreditation and in a statement said:

“The ATP continues its investigation into the incident in Madrid concerning John Tomic. Mr Tomic’s credential privileges continue to be suspended at all ATP tournaments until further notice.”

However, the ATP is respectfully leaving it up to individual tournaments to determine whether to ban Tomic from attending as a spectator.

A senior spokesman for the LTA told “Regarding Mr Tomic. The safety of our players, officials, coaches and spectators is of paramount importance to us.

“We are adhering to ATP rules to ban him from having accreditation or from having access to accredited areas.

“But if Mr Tomic chooses to buy a ticket then we will treat him as any other member of the public, and will be expecting him to behave in an appropriate manner on site.”

Hopefully the name Tomic will be mentioned in glowing terms for on court exploits during Eastbourne’s genteel Wimbledon warm-up event rather than court controversy off court.

Tomic has the traits suited to low bouncing courts so should be able to capitalise during the brief grass court season, even though his quirky style resulted in a shock defeat during a rain delayed contest in London.


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