Tuesday, June 11, 2013

With Father Temporarily out of Picture, Tomic Names New Coaches

(June 11, 2013)-- It's been a rough road for Bernard Tomic since his father was arrested in Madrid on the eve of the Mutua Madrid Open for allegedly head-butting Bernard's hitting partner, Thomas Drouet.

Photo: Clive Brunskill
Today, at the Aegon Classic in London, the 20-year-old lost his fourth consecutive match, 4-6, 7-6(4), 6-7(4), to Benjamin Becker of Germany.

Tomic, who was forced to retire from the first round at Roland Garros due to a hamstring injury, said he had only begun practicing late last week after resting the injury for a while.

But Tomic's injury--and his losing streak--are the least of his problems right now. The Aussie's father and longtime coach, who was also accused of hitting his son in Monte Carlo in April during an altercation at a training session, has been banned by the ATP and the French Open, and it appears that Wimbledon will be following suit when the Championships begin in less than two weeks. This is difficult in and of itself, but the residual tension that must exist between Mr. Tomic and his son can't be making things easier on the former Wimbledon quarterfinalist and junior Australian Open champion.

Despite the ban, Tomic's father was allowed to purchase a ticket in London today. He was spotted on the grounds by reporters during Tomic's match, sitting in the second row, then later seen heading for the exits after the match.

According to reports, Wimbledon will also ban Tomic from being credentialed, and rumor has it that they will deny him admittance as a spectator, too. Tomic, who claims he didn't know his father was at the match, told reporters, “Funny you spotted him and I didn’t." He did, however, eat breakfast with him at the hotel in the morning.

In light of the ATP's hard line against Tomic, reinforcements to the World No. 63's coaching staff are also being brought in. The 20-year-old said he'd brought in Eugenio Forchione, Ivan Dimitrijevic and Harry Skinner, but that his father would remain in charge.

Last week, Tomic spoke to the public about his father's arrest for the first time after his first-round loss at Roland Garros, telling reporters that he still loved his dad. “He’s still working with me, he’s still my dad, he’s still my coach, and I love him a lot," he said. "I grew up with him and he knows me better than everyone else.”

Tomic will partner with Lleyton Hewitt on the doubles court on Wednesday.