The tennis story of the day concerning Australian Bernard Tomic was the fact that he was forced to retire from his first round match on Tuesday at the French Open to Victor Hanescu.
Tomic tore a muscle in his leg just as the match was beginning in Paris and despite making it to tiebreakers in the first two sets, the pain was too much and Tomic was forced to stop the match early. But this was the first match since Tomic's father, John, was charged with assaulting his son's hitting partner, Thomas Drouet, and that was the question that most had for the 20-year-old when he went to the microphone.
“I’d like to say some things before you guys ask me about them obviously involving my father,” he began his news conference with. “He’s here right now in Paris, so, you know, he’s still working with me, he’s still my dad, he’s still my coach, and, you know, I love him a lot.
“Involving the incidents that happened, I don’t want to talk about it a lot or at all, I should say. And it’s a very difficult thing for me, you know, to put my words into that. If you can respect all I have to say about this, you know, I’m happy to talk about the match.”
It was a smart move for Tomic to address the elephant in the room before reporters started asking him, and while he did stand up for his father to start he mentioned later in the press conference that he's looking to possibly add another coach to his team before the grass court season begins in two weeks.
“I will decide that with my dad over the next week, and, you know, who knows?” Tomic said. “Maybe you’ll see someone you don’t expect.”
While Bernard hasn't been what you'd consider the perfect example of maturity in a young professional athlete, it showed a lot of character to come out and immediately defend a man that was both accused of assaulting your hitting partner and Bernard himself.
The ATP and the ITF have banned John Tomic from any tournament pending the investigation into the assault on Drouet, so while he is still coaching his son, it doesn't seem likely that we'll be seeing John in the stands at any of these events moving forward.