Thanks to our reader, Gregoire, I am learning about Aravane Rezai’s interview for Le Figaro entitled "Between me and my father", where the world No.21 talks for the first time about the issues that happened with her father during the Australian Open. Rezai didn’t entirely reveal the exact nature of the clash, despite journalist's persistence, but my understanding is that she wants more independence in making her own choices. The unwelcome situtation hit her emotionally and she needed some time to recover. Things seem to be settling down now.
Gregoire translated the interview for us:
Journalist: Aravane, what happened in Australia and why did you withdraw from the Fed Cup and the Open GDF-Suez?
Aravane Rezai: In Australia, I had some problems with my family. These are problems that happen in all families. I decided to take a break after this little family problem. For me it was a big earthquake in the head. So I decided not to play Fed Cup and the Open GDF-Suez. I want to apologize to the girls of the France team for not having been with them. They know what situation I’m dealing with. I really enjoyed representing my country, but being only 20% was impossible. I thank the captain (Editor’s note: Nicolas Escude) have respected my choice. My apologies also to GDF-SUEZ, which has always supported me as a partner. But this break was important to me, and it will allow me to come back stronger. I intend to return to the tournament in Monterrey, Mexico, if I have a wild card, or otherwise in Indian Wells.
Journalist: Why do you not you expressed earlier?
Aravane Rezai: I wanted to speak earlier, in Australia, but the WTA, my managers and the organization advised me not to do so because they thought I was not ready psychologically. I feel better today. I took a little rest and a lot of things fall into place. I am in the healing phase.
Journalist: What was the exact nature of the clash between you and your father? We talked about a serious altercation because of your boyfriend …
Aravane Rezai: What has been said in the press is not true, there was nothing all that. There was just a little problem between me and my father, something personal. I asked the respect of my private life but the press wants to know what happened, which I understand. It is true that there was tension with my father in Australia, but nothing special, it happens in all families.
Journalist: Let us insist on the events because a police investigation in Australia has been opened, and your father has been temporarily banned to follow you on all WTA tournaments.
Aravane Rezai: I am not aware of an investigation by Australian police in progress on this. As for the WTA’s decision to ban my father, it’s up to them to explain. What I know is that now I’m 23 and I want to make choices and take control of my life – my father agreed. I need his advice and I need support of my family – they support me and they are behind me. But taking my own decisions is something important for me. I want to advance in my career, being part of the best and everything that happened around, I do not want to hear about it even if I assume it. Time will help us, my family and me to make the right choices.
Journalist: Exactly, what are those choices?
Aravane Rezai: I work on my tennis project, I want to determine where and with whom I work. I know I can trust my club (Editor’s note: Levallois, chaired by Henri Leconte, which is ready to put a temporary structure at his disposal) and my sponsors. They will allow me to take my own career while remaining close to my family and start on new foot. I have discussed with my parents and in a few weeks, everything should be put in place.
Thank you, Gregoire, for helping us understand the interview! (photo: Stephane Martinache)