Tomic lashes out at ATP for banning his father from tournaments
LONDON (AP) -- So much for soaking up a victory.
In a winner's news conference filled with bad feelings, Bernard Tomic lashed out at the ATP for banning his dad from tournaments while assault charges against his father are pending. Tomic said he planned to appeal to Wimbledon officials to let his dad in for his next match.
The 20-year-old Australian overcame exhaustion and dizziness for a grueling first-round win Tuesday, 7-6 (8), 7-6 (3), 3-6, 2-6, 6-3 over 21st-seeded American Sam Querrey.
But much of his post-match interview was spent discussing his father and coach, John Tomic, who has been barred from the grounds at Wimbledon while his case in Spain, where he's accused of head-butting Tomic's hitting partner, is pending.
Tomic, considered Australia's most promising young player, said the victory was sweet, but he's not going to remain quiet while the ban is in place.
"I'm not going to say false things," Tomic said, suggesting that managers with the ATP often tell players how to respond to certain questions before post-match news conferences. "I'm going to say the truth of how I feel. It's disappointing."
A Madrid court has postponed John Tomic's assault case until October. Tomic is in London but did not attend Tuesday's match, according to his son.
Meanwhile, the ATP and International Tennis Federation have barred Tomic from tournaments, and so far, the Grand Slam tournaments have abided by that decision. Last month, Tomic's father was not allowed on the grounds at Roland Garros. After quitting his first-round match at the French Open against Victor Hanescu with an injured right hamstring, Tomic said he and his father were still close but that he didn't want to talk about the incident in Madrid.
After his first-round victory at Wimbledon, Tomic struck a different tone, accusing the ATP of rushing to judgment in the case.
"Growing up with your father is a good thing for me because this is how I became good at tennis at a young age," Tomic said. "I was there with my dad. We worked hard. We were on the court together. Now, all of a sudden, there's a change. There's always a change in life, a decision that was made. I'm going to blame the ATP a lot for this. They have a lot of bad decisions, a few good ones, but I'm saying this is a very bad one."
Tomic said he would ask Wimbledon officials if they would reconsider the ban before his second-round match against American James Blake, who defeated Thiemo De Bakker of the Netherlands 6-1, 6-3, 6-2 to snap a five-match Wimbledon losing streak.
"But Wimbledon's made their decision on behalf of the ATP," Tomic said. "So at the end of the day, it's the ATP I've got to be talking to. They're not really going to do anything."
ATP spokesman Simon Higson said the tour had no comment and referred to a statement given earlier in which John Tomic's suspension was explained: It took effect May 4 - the date of the incident in Madrid - for a 12-month period and will be reviewed at that point.
Wimbledon spokesman Johnny Perkins said the All England Club put out a statement supporting the ban on John Tomic's accreditation and said the ban would extend to access to the grounds via a ticket. He said the club had not received a request to reconsider as of Tuesday evening.
Meantime, 59th-ranked Tomic's victory itself came with its own set of prickly issues.
Feeling lightheaded late in the fourth set, Tomic asked for a medical evaluation. Trainers came out to check on him and Tomic could be seen applying ice to his head. He said he felt weak because he ate a light breakfast but the break gave him energy in time for the fifth set.
Officials did not deem the break an official medical timeout, which miffed Querrey, who said it came at a bad time for him and lasted too long for a medical evaluation.
"I knew he was kind of dizzy, but let's go, it's a physical game," Querrey said. "That's part of it. If you're dizzy or hurt, you've got to play through it. You can't just take breaks. That's not why I lost. But I felt I had some momentum there and that leveled the playing field for the fifth set."
Tomic called the third and fourth set a "nightmare."
"But it's OK. Lucky. Somehow I won," he said.
Tomic said it does make a difference not having his dad in the stands.
"It's very difficult to play a match, the biggest tournament we have in tennis, not to have your coach there or your father who has been there throughout your whole life," Tomic said. "I'm going to stand by my decision, I think the ATP did the wrong thing."
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.