Pierce and once-banned father have reconciledBy JOCELYN GECKER, Associated Press Writer
June 2, 2005
PARIS (AP) -- Mary Pierce
and her father, Jim, once banned from WTA Tour events for abusive behavior, have reconciled and spend time together both on the court and off.
``The relationship with my dad is great,'' said Pierce, who was to play in the French Open semifinals Thursday against Elena Likhovtseva
Jim Pierce was banned from WTA Tour events in 1993-98. He punched a spectator at the 1993 French Open and was accused of having an abusive relationship with Mary, his ex-wife, Yannick, and his son, David.
Mary Pierce, who won the 2000 French Open, divides her training time between Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy in Florida and Paris. Her father lives in Florida, and he watches her practice when she's there.
``My dad has been coming out on the courts,'' she said after her quarterfinal win over No. 1-seeded Lindsay Davenport
. ``He'll comes to practice like every day. He just loves it, and he loves tennis.
``Off the court, we'll do stuff together, too,'' Pierce said. I go and eat lunch almost every day at his apartment.''
During tougher times, Pierce sought protection orders against her father in New York, New Jersey, California and Florida. He sued his daughter for breach of contract in December 1996, contending he was promised 25 percent of her career earnings.
M FOR MARAT
leaves his mark wherever he goes.
The Russian exited the French Open on Monday but a part of him -- or rather a byproduct of his famed temper -- will stay behind.
The two-time Grand Slam champion got so angry during his fourth-round loss to Tommy Robredo
that he slammed his racket into his changeover chair, leaving a gaping hole in the wooden base that included a Perrier ad.
Safin was fined $1,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct. The sum was deducted from his prize winnings of $76,285.
The broken chair will be placed in the Roland Garros tennis museum as part of a display called ``100 objects, 100 years of tennis,'' museum director Jean-Christophe Piffaut said.
``Safin's language on court is not so great, but as long as he keeps providing us with new things, we don't mind,'' Piffaut said. ``I bet Perrier are delighted with him. It's free advertising!''
In 2002, Safin mangled a racket so badly that Piffaut kept it in his museum, and even put together a short movie of Safin tantrums during that tournament.
NOT TUNING IN
Tommy Robredo didn't reach the semifinals and he's not planning to watch anyone who did -- even the heavily hyped match between fellow Spaniard Rafael Nadal
and No. 1 Roger Federer
``For sure, I'm not going to see that match,'' the No. 15-seeded Robredo said after losing in the quarterfinals to No. 12 Nikolay Davydenko
3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. ``I'm going to be at home getting some rest,'' he said. ``You will tell me after, in another Grand Slam.'' Associated Press writer Jerome Pugmire contributed to this report.