Japan ace Kei Nishikori will square off against tennis legend John McEnroe in a November charity match, the Japan Tennis Association announced Tuesday.
The match, scheduled for Nov. 17 at Ariake Colosseum, will be part of an event to support the rebuilding efforts following the 2011 earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeast Japan. Nishikori is currently ranked 12th in the world.
It is the third year the event will be held, with two-time Paralympic wheelchair champion Shingo Kunieda and former ace Shuzo Matsuoka also scheduled to take to the court.
Tomic’s father speaks
The father of Australian star Bernard Tomic said on Wednesday that he wished now that he had “really punched” his son’s French training partner.
John Tomic received an eight-month suspended jail sentence on Sept. 6 for head-butting Thomas Drouet, breaking his nose and knocking him out in a May assault outside a hotel in Madrid.
Tomic denied the charges in court and said he acted in self-defense.
“I know that I didn’t do that,” Tomic told the Sydney Morning Herald. “And I am just now regretting why I didn’t punch him, when I see this campaign against Bernard, against me.
“I’m really regretting why I didn’t punch him now, because I think that he deserved that. I know that I would be in more trouble in the future, but when I see how he has been lying.”
Australian media this week published claims from a Drouet diary that Tomic had hit his son in the face and drew blood in Monte Carlo before heading to Madrid.
“Never. It never happened that I touched my son, my kids. I am very proud father and my kids love me,” he told the daily.
But the disciplinarian admitted to arguments and racket smashing.
John Tomic, 49, would not confirm in the interview if he intends to appeal the Madrid court decision, but he maintained his innocence on the head-butting charge.
“Look, I have to take consequences about court, about (Drouet’s) story, and I will accept the decision of court and what I have to do, but I didn’t do that.
“It was collision head to head — when he hit me I just grabbed him and it was collision head to head.”
Following the clash, the Australian No. 1’s father was banned from attending ATP events.