Aravane Rezai’s father banned from all WTA events.

The spectre of abusive relationships in women’s tennis has raised its head again with the WTA Tour banning a relative of France’s world No 22 Aravane Rezai from attending its events indefinitely. It is understood the person in question is her father Arsalan, who has a history of run-ins with French tennis authorities. Citing ‘a serious safety matter’, the women’s game’s authorities have imposed the ban and local police are also involved.

Aravane, 23, lost in the first round of the Australian Open and withdrew from the doubles without explanation. French media reported she had a row with her father on the morning of her match and that an altercation had taken place between her boyfriend and her father. In her post-match interview, Aravane said there had been distracting ‘concerns’ before her match, but said later that most of the claims were ‘without foundation’. The incident revives echoes of fathers whose ambitions for their daughters have spun out of control.

Extreme examples have been Mary Pierce’s father Jim and Jelena Dokic’s father Damir.


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