- DelPo withdrew from the Madrid Masters to recover from a serious flu/virus. He seems to be in better spirits, as he made an appearance at La Bombonera, for the football match between Boca Juniors and River Plate. These two teams have a fierce rivalry (Nalbandian is a River Plate fan). DelPo cheered for his beloved Boca Juniors. He took photos with fans and gave a short TV interview. For now, this seems like a positive sign that his recovery is under way. He is said to be training in preparation for the Rome Masters:
- The Portugal Open final between Stanislas Wawrinka and David Ferrer ended with a surprise victor: Wawrinka pulled a pretty big upset to defeat Ferru in straight sets. In 2012, Wawrinka had lost in the Portugal Open SF to DelPo (in a very well-contested match). This year, Wawrinka was in amazing form during the final and he ended up as the well-deserved champion. He also broke his title draught by defeating the world no. 4, which added to the positive feelings. He’s now joined the ultra-exclusive “Portugal Open winners” club, known to many as the 5th Slam club.
Stan seems a worthy successor to DelPo. Stan is also the second Swiss player to win the Portugal Open (a fact that he was repeatedly reminded of during his post-match interview), after Federer in 2008.
- In much more unfortunate news, John Tomic (Bernard Tomic’s father and coach) was reportedly arrested in Madrid, after he assaulted his son’s hitting partner, French player Thomas Drouet. It appears Drouet and John Tomic had an altercation, after John Tomic tried to hit Bernard during a practice session in Monte Carlo. Drouet had stepped in to protect Bernard from his father. The fight continued until the team reached their hotel in Madrid — Drouet was reportedly found with a broken nose and fractured vertebrae outside a hotel in Madrid, a scene that Dolgopolov and Tipsarevic witnessed. This is very troubling news from Tomic’s camp. John Tomic has a history of troubled relations with his son — it was only a year ago that Bernard asked for his father to be ejected from the stadium during a match. At this year’s Australian Open, Federer had been asked about Tomic and Raonic’s future prospects (after he beat both youngsters). Fed’s observation rings especially true at this moment:
What I like about Milos, let’s just say, he seems very committed and he seems like he has his team set up, travels every week with the same kind of guys … The rest is sort of taken care of, which is the good thing, the business side, all the PR … he seems like he’s in a good place where he can just really focus on tennis.
Whereas I think Tomic still needs some time to figure out his team, figure out all the other things that are happening.
Tennis has a history of fathers who become too involved in their son/daughter’s career — there are plenty of cases of abusive father/coaches as well. Bernard Tomic does not have the functional and stable team support that is key to a player’s tennis career. Whether he can extricate himself from his father’s grasp will be a key to both his success and safety. Let’s hope he can find more constructive mentors outside of his family.