Every time I see people act like complete and utter assholes to each other when it comes to tennis, my knee-jerk reaction is always "Dudes. Chill. It's just tennis. It's supposed to be fun. For all of us." It's always good to keep perspective when crap happens. Oh, someone said something mean about your favorite player? Calm the fuck down. It's fucking tennis, not a missile crisis.
And then you read depressing stories like this that serve as a reminder that there are people out there who are legitimately horrible people. My mind is boggling.
Elise Tamaela is a 27 year-old Dutch player on the ITF circuit. She was playing a challenger in Versmold when she was verbally and physically attacked by another player's (Karen Barbat (DEN)) father. She's now in the hospital and the dude has fled with his daughter, presumably trying to avoid the authorities.
Here's the account from Elise's brother:
As the brother of Elise I can confirm the story... Elise has been attacked by the father of Karen Barbat whule watching her game. He was calling her names from the start of the game (all kind of racist things I'm not willing to repeat). After a while Elise said something about it, he then knocked her out with a punch and elbows to here temple. She immediately lost consciousness for about five minutes... After a while she was taken to the police station to press charges, the father and daughter flee, police still looking for them. At the police station Elise started the vomit continiously, an ambulance was called to take here to the nearest hospital. She's still on a intravenous drip with painkillers and needs to stay in the hospital till at least tomorrow morning (having a concussion and a bruised face)...
My father and I drove to Halle (where Elise is in the hospital) and are now in a hotel, we hope we can take Elise back to The Netherlands tomorrow...
The father/trainer of Karen Barbat will probably never see a (professional) tennis court again, that man is a true risk to all people around him!
A lifetime ban is obviously the least of his worries (oh and way to fuck over your daughter's career, too). Hope the cops find him so Elise can properly press charges. More importantly, here's hoping Elise gets better.