French tennis player Rezai sues father
Jun 9, 2011, 18:50 GMT
Aravane Rezai of France attends a press conference during the Gaz de France WTA Open 2011 tennis tournament in Paris, France, 07 February 2011. EPA/IAN LANGSDON
Paris - French tennis player Aravane Rezai has filed a lawsuit against her father, charging him with extortion, court documents showed Thursday.
Rezai had an on-court shouting match in January with her father, Arsalan, which resulted in him being suspended from WTA events.
Rezai's suit says her father, to whom she had been paying 2,000 euros (2,900 dollars) per month had suddenly increased his 'wage' demand to 35,000 euros (50,750 dollars).
The documents, filed in the Paris suburb of Boulogne Billancourt, not far from the French Open venue of Roland Garros, and later referred to officials in Saint Eienne in south-east France where the Iranian-French family lives, also mentioned alleged violence directed at the 52nd-ranked Rezai.
Rezai, playing this week on grass in Birminghan, has had a poor 2011 season. She owns four career titles, including Madrid a year ago.
Prosecutors are still deciding whether to go forward with the case. The furore is strangely reminiscent of other recent family feuds in the women's game, including those of French-American Mary Pierce and Serbo-Australian Jelena Dokic, which also resulted in estrangement from family by the players.
The senior Rezai said in a May 29 interview with Journal du Dimanche that he is not to blame, and instead blamed 'scavengers' around his daughter.
In another French interview, he said that the immigrant family depended on Rezai's tennis earnings.
'I'm dedicated to my daughter and I have no retirement. Nothing. I'll see if I can find a job, my wife, but being nearly 60 years is not easy. I want to help young players motivated, I have the experience. But financially, I do not know how we'll do'
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