LONDON — Bernard Tomic is playing quite well at Wimbledon even though his father, also his coach, has been barred from the tournament because of an assault case.
That doesn't stop the 59th-ranked Australian from bristling at the suggestion that he might be better off without his father, John, who stands accused of head-butting his son's training partner before a tournament in Madrid this year.
Tomic has faced questions about the case after every round at Wimbledon, including after upsetting Richard Gasquet 7-6 (7), 5-7, 7-5, 7-6 (5) on Centre Court on Saturday. While he repeated his stance that "nothing's bothering me" about being on his own during matches, he said there was no way he would stop using his father as coach.
"You don't say that, all right, that your father's not here, you're doing very well, do you need him, don't you need him," Tomic said. "That's not an appropriate question to ask because he's my dad. You know, it's family. I'm going to stick by that."
Earlier this week, Tomic criticized tour officials for banning his father from all tournaments while the case is being investigated. At Wimbledon, like at the French Open, John Tomic isn't even allowed to buy a ticket to the grounds.
But Tomic said his father is still in London to help out between matches, and that his advice has been one of the keys to his success.
"When I have my time off, when I leave the site, I'm with my dad," Tomic said. "He's helping me at this tournament. We're doing the right things. This is why the results are showing off now. I'm not doing it on my own. My dad is still involved. That's why I've gotten to where I am in this tournament and the results have shown."
Tomic's best Grand Slam showing came at Wimbledon in 2011 as an 18-year-old qualifier, when he was the youngest player to get to the tournament's quarterfinals since Boris Becker in 1985. He can reach that stage again if he beats former runner-up Tomas Berdych on Monday.
"It's not easy because Tomas is very strong," he said. "He hits a big ball. You've got to be ready. I think I can use what I have, and really give it to him because I think if I play my tennis, he's not going to like what I have to offer."
Tomic did have one family member at the All England Club on Saturday – who was even playing herself.
His 15-year-old sister, Sara, was knocked out in the first round of the girls' singles, losing 6-1, 6-0 to Anett Kontaveit of Estonia, but had time to watch her brother on Centre Court.
"I was happy to see my sister supporting me today in my box," Tomic said. "So it's a very good thing."