Motive of departure - fianacial
After four tournament appearances and a lot of media attention for her comeback to the homeland, the story of Mirjana Lucic's comeback to the world's tennis is on hold for already a month and a half. The last tournament Lucic played was in the middle of May in Rome, soon after which a withdrawal from the Zagreb ITF happened, along with the surprise departure from Hvar that hosted her after her comeback to Croatia. Today we found out the reason of that surprise escape...
First news, later denied, said that she temporarily left with her family to play tournaments in the US, but it soon became clear that there's another reason. Today Lucic issued public announcement which states that the issue is financial, not having problems accusing mayor of Hvar, Pjerino Bebic, the man who offered and made possible for her and her family to live in "the sunny island" (how Hvar's called in Croatia), that he has cheated on her.
"I'm very sad because of the situation in which I currently am. Despite all the threats, warnings and advice of influential people not to come back, I knowingly and with my own will risked my life coming to Croatia, prooving how serious I am about my return to tennis. I've been promissed everything I need to return to the top.
Mr. Bebic cheated on me. When we started negotiations, I, Mirjana Lucic, offered him full refund of the money plus interests, cause I didn't want to take advantage of anyone. Mr. Bebic absolutely and definately declined that offer and asked from me only to promote Hvar, stating that my contract towards him is finalised and fulfilled. Mr. Bebic said that he's a businessman and aware that he's getting this commercial for a small money.
For this year Mr. Bebic prommised me one hundered thousand euros plus landed property in Hvar, and a suit in Park hotel to use while I'm in Hvar. Mr. Bebic gave me ten thousand euros donated by Mr. Ilija Naletilic, a Croatian businessman, after our first conversation while I was playing in Rome; with that, I assumed he's a serious man that wants to do serious business.
Mr. Bebic convinced me that the first part, forty thousand euros, will be payed out on my account the moment I land in Zagreb. That money never made it to my account, and when I asked when will it happen (cause I have to finance playing tournaments), Mr. Bebic answered that everything will be resolved tomorrow. That went on for weeks, and after all Mr. Bebic stopped returning my phone calls."
In the end, eventhough she repeatedly said that her past is behind her, she spoke of her past, remembering her fater Marinko and part of the family she escaped from, again: "My father's family promissed me that because I escaped from Croatia I'll never again play tennis and that no one in Croatia will help me. However, they forgot I'm a Lucic and that I will never give up. I am not asking charity from anyone, I just want a chance to get back to tennis. I hope someone in Croatia will be brave enough to stand up to "them" and help me."
How realistic all the segments of Mirjana's story are, judge for yourself. And about upcoming schedule, for now it's known that Lucic will have her next appearances with wildcards on three ITF tournaments, two in Italy and one in Austria.
As I said, there are more articles but more or less, they're all the same, so there's no need to translate them all. But, to be fair we have to quote Mr. Bebic as well, so here are some of the quotes from various articles.
"I am stunned and shocked. I don't understand anything. I was waiting for some e-mails with their confirmations regarding registry of a company, and they surprise me with this. Still, my offer stands, and I only ask (not demand, ask) from her to practice in Hvar, participate in the opening of kids' tennis camp and to work on getting a WTA tournament to Hvar. As far as money is concerned, in today's time you don't give 30 thousand euros to anyone for just anything, like I gave her. That's not a small thing. Besides, I promissed 70 thousand more, a hundered thousand in all. I also told her that she can get even more from sponsors, since they have simpathy for her life story and have convinced themselves on their own how willing she is to come back to the top of tennis."
"Nothing's defined yet, we comunicated over the phone and text messages and I'm not sure how our cooperation will end. I told her I'm ready to finance her and the tournaments, but not her family, because she's a reason why I went into this deal. Her sister became obstacles and it's hard to work like that. She only askes where's the money and when will it arrive. She talks about nothing else."
"Mirjana is lying! On monday evening I finally got her on the phone and explained that we've already invested 30 thousand euros in her. I think it's not necessary to repeat how disappointed we all are. I also never promissed her landed property. However I insisted to know the name of the coach to whom the money would be payed directly and we didn't get that, just like we didn't get the list of her planed tournaments. But, eventhough I'm disappointed with Mirjana's behaviour, I will continue cooperating with her."