The world of tennis is shocked by the video of a 14-year-old player being beaten by her father and coach
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The world of tennis is shocked by the video of a 14-year-old player being beaten by her father and coach

Her father beat a 14-year-old Chinese tennis player in Belgrade, according to a video clip posted on social media. What irritates the world of yellow ball.

The photos spread across Europe within a few hours. In a video posted by Croatian actor Igor Juric, a young tennis player is seen being badly beaten by her coach, who also happens to be her father. The latter hits a first kick in the thigh, before slapping her twice in the face.

Once seated, the 14-year-old lowers her head but her father lifts her, pulling her by her jacket, to force her back to court. Back on the floor, the girl receives three new kicks.

The police arrested the father

The comedian explained in his tweet that the two heroes are of Chinese origin and that the accident occurred on a tennis court in Belgrade. The latter told Serbian media that the girl, who is considered a great hope for discipline, refused to train and did not make enough efforts in the eyes of her father. According to preliminary information published by local newspapers, the player’s father, named VL and born in 1972, was arrested on charges of domestic violence by the police, who confirmed that the investigation is still ongoing.

Soon the police took all measures to identify the suspect. He has been placed in police custody and held for 48 hours, and will be transferred to the Public Prosecutor’s Office to face the criminal complaint of domestic violence. In his defence, the father of the family had no intention of harming him and believed he acted correctly because such treatment is permitted in China, according to a press release from the attorney general.

For its part, the Belgrade Tennis Federation strongly condemned the player’s assault. “We found out that it was domestic violence, considering that the attacker was the father of a young tennis player. We are cooperating with the competent public prosecutor to close this case as quickly as possible, the organization explains, in written statements by the Serbian press. We also organized several workshops with the parents of young tennis players. In order to act in a preventive manner and prevent such a situation from happening again.”

The tennis world is in shock

In the face of the harshness of the images, many tennis personalities have raised their voices on social networks. I asked Paula Padusa, the 12th player, about the girl who had been assaulted. Stan Wawrinka also expressed his disgust with the photos.

Pam Shriver, the former world number one in doubles, denounced the “abuse”: “There is no place for abuse or intimidation in tennis or in any sport. We need” more representatives than observers.

Patrick Mouratoglou, former coach of Serena Williams and Simona Halep, raises a situation that is “terrible and unacceptable”. “No other word,” he wrote. “All forms of child abuse, whether physical or psychological, must be eradicated. It affects all sectors of our civil society. Not just tennis. Let’s think about how to eradicate it in our sport.”

For her part, Daria Savile, the 55th player in the world, is asking for help. “This girl will be broken forever. If you think someone is being physically or mentally abused, support them and encourage them to talk to someone who can help them. Offer to help them find a local domestic violence agency or offer to go to the police.”

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