Tennis: Pierce files paternal suit: Father-coach fears Wimbledon ban

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The Independent Online
JIM PIERCE, who was ejected and banned from the French Open for causing a disturbance, made a plea last night to be allowed to watch his 18-year-old daughter, Mary, make her first appearance at Wimbledon, where she is the 13th seed.

The Women's Tennis Council, based in New York, was on the point of making a decision on the Pierce case yesterday when a written communication was received from the player's father / coach explaining his behaviour. An announcement is expected at the end of the WTC's business today.

Wimbledon will wait to hear from the WTC, and would comply with a recommendation that Pierce's ban from tournaments be extended to the fortnight of the championships, which start on Monday.

Pierce was escorted from Court 11 at Roland Garros after disrupting his daughter's match against Kimberly Po on 28 May. His accreditation was withdrawn and he was charged by the WTC with illegal coaching and disruptive conduct. Last June, he boasted about punching two spectators at the French Open. 'We have now heard from Mr Pierce, and this has slowed down our response,' Ann Worcester, the WTC's managing director, said.

Mary Pierce, who was born in Canada but has taken French citizenship, is in Eastbourne competing in the doubles tournament at the Volkswagen Cup and also participating in the Under-21 event. Pierre Barthes, the former French Davis Cup player, will replace her father as her coach. Rain made play impossible at Eastbourne yesterday.

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