Player's Dad Tossed From Tourney
N E W Y O R K, Aug. 31 -- The price of food at the U.S. Open led to anugly confrontation involving the father of 17-year-old JelenaDokic.
Damir Dokic was removed Wednesday from the grounds of theNational Tennis Center by security, amid a stream of curses andinsults, threatened with arrest and barred from the balance of thetournament. He could face additional sanctions from the WTA Tour.
The episode began when Dokic, eating lunch in the player’slounge, complained over being charged $10 for a piece of salmon,creating enough of a commotion to attract security. Within minutes,it escalated with Dokic escorted from the lounge by Pete Pistone,director of security for the Open, as he shouted “Idiots!” atUSTA officials.
At one point, he confronted a WTA official, gestured at hispocket and shouted, “You take big money from players!”
After being ordered off the grounds once, Dolic returned withhis daughter in tears and ran into Pistone as he tried to enter theplayers entrance. Again, he was pushed away, with the USTA officialwarning him, “Leave right now or you’re under arrest.”
He was driven off in a tournament car, still shouting and wavingas the vehicle pulled away from the Tennis Center. His daughter wasscheduled to play her second-round match today.
Jay Snyder, tournament director of the Open, issued a statementsaying because of his abusive behavior in the lounge, Dokic wouldnot be permitted back for the remainder of the Grand Slam event.
Bart McGuire, CEO of the WTA Tour, concurred with the decision.
“Based on Mr. Dokic’s past history of such incidents, a formalreview is being conducted to determine what additional action willbe taken,” McGuire said. “The tour will announce its decisionshortly after the U.S. Open.”
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