Tomic threatens to sue Tennis Australia for defamation

Melbourne, July 14 (IANS) The relationship between Australian tennis’ governing body and one of its brightest stars, Bernard Tomic, seems almost beyond repair, with the youngster’s father on Tuesday threatening to sue Tennis Australia (TA) for defamation.

The potential legal action follows a “clerical error”, where TA mistakenly reported Tomic would be playing in the “Hall of Shame” tournament in the organization’s daily results email. reports Xinhua.

In fact, the tournament the 22-year-old was entered to play in was the “Hall of Fame” grasscourt event in Newport, Rhode Island, which began on July 11.

Tennis Australia quickly corrected the email 14 minutes later, and explained in a statement: “The result listing before the Hall of Fame Championships, the Sharm El Sheikh event in Egypt, won by Astra Sharma, should provide some explanation as to how this error occurred. There was no malicious intent.”

But the Tomics are not convinced by the explanation.

In a statement sent to Fairfax media on Tuesday, Bernard’s father, John, expressed his disdain at the treatment of his son.

“The Tomic family is very disappointed by TA’s continual shaming and misrepresentation of Bernard,” he said.

“It seems TA have commenced living up to their threat. How typically childish and arrogant of TA to permit publication of such material and then expect to get away with it. We have no alternative but to refer the matter to our legal people for advice.”

Tomic ended up losing his Hall of Fame round of 32 match 6-3, 7-5 to fellow Australian John Patrick Smith who ranks 131 places below the world No. 25.

Over the past month Tennis Australia has had its hands full dealing with antics of another of the country’s most promising talents, Nick Kyrgios, who was accused of “tanking” in his fourth round match against Richard Gasquet.

After his third-round loss to world No. 1 Novak Djokovic, Tomic unleased a scathing attack on Tennis Australia’s chief executive Craig Tiley, president Steve Healy and performance director Pat Rafter, after the organisation indicated they would no longer fund Bernard’s sister Sara.

The tirade cost him his spot in Australia’s upcoming Davis Cup quarter-final tie in Kazakhstan.

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