John Tomic, father and coach of Bernard Tomic (Player Profile), has received a ban from the Australian Open next year as he continues to serve a suspension order from the ATP tour after assaulting a former training partner of his son.
The Bosnian coach was given an 8-month prison sentence last month in a Spanish court in punishment for the assault launched on Thomas Drouet. Tomic head-butted the Frenchman and broke his nose. However, since the sentence was under two years he was not required to serve any jail time and instead had all his accreditation for 2013 tour events rescinded by the ATP. The organisation will decide whether to lift the ban in May next year, but for the moment Tomic is barred from every ATP and Grand Slam event left in the season.
“The grand slams as well as the ATP work together on this,” explained Australian Open tournament organiser Craig Tilley “The rule is he’s not accredited and does not have permission to purchase a ticket. And the systems we have in place – John [or] anyone else who is banned, they are not allowed on the grounds and our security personnel will take care of that appropriately”
The former taxi driver hasn’t helped his cause by denying many of the allegations made against him by Drouet and incredibly went on to make a number of inflammatory remarks to a reporter at the Sydney Morning Herald – “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”
Bernard himself has remained supportive of his father throughout the controversy and even criticised ATP heads for immediately imposing the ban. Currently ranked at Number 55 on the tour, Tomic has suffered a loss in form and fitness following his father’s ban, losing to Richard Gasquet in the second round of the China Open this week.