SYDNEY, (Reuters) – Australia’s number one tennis player Bernard Tomic says he is being harassed by a policeman after being stopped for dangerous driving, or “hooning” in local parlance, in Queensland at the weekend.
The 19-year-old world number 42, who reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year, was stopped but not ticketed in Surfer’s Paradise on Sunday in his distinctive orange BMW M3.
“He doesn’t like me for some reason … he’s always on my tail,” Tomic said of the officer who stopped him.
“I think it’s really bad. I haven’t done a thing wrong — I just go about my business as a tennis player,” he told Brisbane’s Courier-Mail.
“Hoon” is a semi-official Australian term for young drivers guilty of dangerous driving, including such breaches of the law as street racing and performing burnouts.
“I didn’t speed, I didn’t do any of that stuff,” he said. “The car’s very loud but I don’t know what he defines as hooning.
“It scared me a bit, to be honest. He’s pulled me over a few times but now it’s starting to get a little bit more aggressive.”
A spokeswoman for Queensland police said no official complaint had been received about the policeman and that a senior officer had reviewed the issue and decided “no evidence of breaches of discipline or misconduct had been identified”.
Tomic has been given special dispensation to drive the high-performance car despite still being a provisional driver, or P-Plater, which would normally restrict him to less powerful vehicles.
The exemption was reported to be just to allow him to and from training but Tomic said he understood it was to allow him to conduct all of his professional duties.
“I’ve got training, gym, massages and meetings,” he said. “I don’t know what it is — jealousy or whatever — but this policeman seems to have it in for me.
“If I did the wrong thing, he would charge me, but he hasn’t.”