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Let my dad in, Australian Tomic pleads at Wimbledon

Bernard Tomic of Australia celebrates after defeating Sam Querrey of the U.S. in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Ch
Bernard Tomic of Australia celebrates after defeating Sam Querrey of the U.S. in their men's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Ch

By Paul Majendie

LONDON (Reuters) - Australian Bernard Tomic is asking Wimbledon to change its mind and lift its ban on his father attending the tournament.

John Tomic faces a court case for allegedly assaulting his son's former practice partner, Frenchman Thomas Drouet, last month in Madrid. He has been suspended from attending ATP events pending the outcome of the case.

After battling through a five-set marathon to defeat his first round opponent, American 21st seed Sam Querrey, Bernard Tomic said he desperately wanted to have his father courtside.

"All of a sudden not to have someone there who's been there for you your whole life is very difficult. It's not a good feeling. It's tough," he told reporters.

Asked if he would call on Wimbledon to relax the ban, he said: "I'll try and have a word with them. I know they are very strict here. We'll see what they say. It would be amazing to have my dad here watching me as a coach and a father."

A Wimbledon spokesman told Reuters: "We have his photo and security guards have been instructed not to let him in."

Tomic said he phoned his father straight after the match and he was delighted with the 7-6(6) 7-6(3) 3-6 2-6 6-3 victory.

"He's back at the house here in Wimbledon. Yeah I still spend time with my dad. It's good. It's very good."

VERY BAD

Tomic's fury was directed primarily at the men's governing body, the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), claiming that his father's suspension was decided far too speedily.

"They investigated something on the telephone for 30 seconds and made a decision which is very bad. You don't do that," he told a post-match new conference which was dominated by the issue of his father's absence.

John Tomic told a Madrid court he had acted in self-defense when he butted Drouet in the face, breaking his nose. The case has been postponed until October.

He could be handed a prison sentence of up to three years and a possible fine if found guilty on a charge of causing criminal injury.

Bernard Tomic's Wimbledon victory was certainly dramatic - and he blames himself for not having a proper breakfast.

He won the first two sets but then was really struggling and felt so dizzy he called the doctor for a 10-minute timeout before recovering to clinch the deciding fifth set.

"It's a lesson to be learnt. Even though I don't feel like eating, maybe I should just shove it down," he said.

(Reporting by Paul Majendie; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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