Sixteen-year-old Romanian tennis star Ioana Andrada Surdeanu didn’t just leave the International Tennis Federation Tournament defeated, but also walked away with blood streaming down her face after her coach father reportedly hit her as punishment for losing the match.
According to the Daily Mail, Surdeanu’s father Lucian became enraged after the teen lost the match, which was in the quarter finals of the tournament, proceeding to slap her in the face twice. One of the slaps caused Surdeanu to bleed, and her father was subsequently ejected from the tournament.
“I didn't play well in that match. At the end, he went to confiscate my phone. That's the way he punishes me when it is my fault and I don't win matches. I was annoyed and I threw the phone at him and said ‘take it’,” Surdeanu said. “Of course he didn't catch it, and he got angry because of the way I've behaved. He pushed me and slapped me twice. One of the slaps hit my nose.”
The player says that when she began to bleed from her nose, her father instructed her to report to the medic that was on site. When she returned, Lucian had already been thrown out of the court. She was escorted to her hotel, where she discovered her father being arrested and taken away in a police car. “At the police station they didn't let me see him, like he was dangerous and I had to stay away from him,” Surdeanu said.
Surdeanu says that despite public perception of her father and of the incident, she is to blame for what happened.
"My father is not a beast, he didn't break my nose, I didn't have my face covered in blood. It's true, he slapped me. But so what? I deserved it. It was my fault because I've yelled and said some bad words to him. I was irresponsible after all the sacrifices he made for me. I admit that I was scared in that moment he hit me, but I know he regrets what he did and he loves me as much as I love him.”
The teen says all she wants now is to continue playing and for her father to be okay. “He maybe exaggerated a little, but he didn't deserve to be arrested. I'm worried for him. I want to continue this journey in tennis with the support of the whole family.”
Lucian Surdeanu was reportedly given a fine and has since returned to Romania. His daughter says that she feels “guilty” for what happened, and that her father is being judged unfairly for hitting her. “When I read that he is described as a 'criminal' and a 'beast', I feel like I want to scream.”
Source; The Daily Mail / Photo Credit: tikitaka.ro