Aravane Rezai talks family/father problems for the first time


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)


  1. This story seems to me more and more strange o.O
    I respect her desire to maintain reservations about the incident and I think it’s fair, but I wonder why, if nothing significant has happened, the WTA has taken this important decision, in such situations I believe that the choices are pondered, otherwise the WTA itself loses credibility. I’m a bit confused!

  2. Francesca, you’re right, it is contradictory. I somehow don’t believe the WTA would bring such a decision without solid reasons, but everything is possible.

  3. Is this yet another case of the “father” trying to ride their daughters coat tails and therefore earn a paycheck?

    IMO, these girls need to severe “business” ties with their family in order to excel in the game. Unless of course its working for them.

    That said, it must be tough to get independence from your coach/father once you pass 18 years of age.

  4. Its nothing strange, she’s between wind and water and tries to cope with that. And its another story about crazy parent and I hope it will have good end.

  5. I dont care about Rezai,she comes of as very arrogant.She deserves everything she is getting because karma is a b…h.

  6. I know Aravane and her father, spent time with her brother Anouch on the tennis courts in france for 3 years. Their story is one that when Aravane does tell it promises to be one that will make you cry! She is waiting until she becomes #1 in the world before she shares all… the time will come

  7. This is the link (, but is in Italian, I translate for you:

    “Aravane Rezai made a complaint last week against the father, the police of Boulogne-Billancourt, Hauts-de-Seine. The 24-year old player’s father Arsalan accused of acts of violence and fraud involving tens of thousands of dollars. Aravane and her father had quarreled violently during the tournament in Melbourne. The office of Saint-Etienne, where she was born, will the practice.”

    The site is usually reliable, but I haven’t found an English source…

  8. Francesca, hm I don’t understand what exactly happened, what she is blaming him for, for the violence against her? And what’s that fraud about?

  9. Marija, I don’t understand it myself, it says that she is blaming him for acts of violence (but doesn’t specify which took place against Aravane) and fraud…
    The only episode of violence of which we are aware is the quarreled of Melbourne and Aravane has always minimized it, instead reading this lines it seems like there was more than one episode, plus a millionaire fraud but it is unclear what kind of fraud is and who has been damaged… I find this increasingly dark matter, maybe in a few days we’ll know more, if I find something I tell you 🙂

    I hope I explained myself better!

  10. Marija, I just found an article more reliable, the matter is rather serious, there is talk of violence, extortion and death threats, it seems that the girl is isolated from the family… I’m sorry that it’s in Italian, but I can readily translate (as best I can :P)

  11. Francesca, all the information is rather vague except for the fact that she has parted with her family. If you like, do share your translation here in the comments! 🙂

  12. Here is the translation in case anyone is interested 🙂

    Father-master, anger Rezai
    “From his violence and extortion”
    The player has also denounced the Franco-Iranian death threats: “It ‘s a battle of emancipation I do for thousands of women.” For months, no longer speaks with family members. In past, many cases, by Sabatini, Graf, passing Seles, Capriati, Sharapova, Williams and Lucic.

    PARIS (France), June 9, 2011 – It’s now war between Aravane Rezai and his family. The French number two (out today in the second round of Birmingham by American Riske 7-5, 6-7 (6) 6-2) has denounced her father Arsalan for violence, extortion and death threats, for months no longer speaks with her mother, brothers and sisters. Yet another case of family break in the tennis world.
    EMANCIPATION – The war began as early as January in Melbourne, at the Australian Open, the first real rift between Aravane and dad, her coach forever. A dispute caused by different reasons: the girl’s desire to become independent, finding a new coach, but probably also the not appreciated relationship with a boy, not approved by the family. The dispute has degenerated into a player’s first complaint against the father who then attacked the WTA representative Kathy Martin, accused of having manipulated his daughter. But the question is more complex. Indeed Aravane had declared to Equipe before Roland Garros, “First is a battle against myself, because for 24 years I have instilled the idea that depended only on them and now I have to resist the temptation to suspend the war for my freedom of woman. I want to be an example for thousands of women who have not yet managed to free themselves. It ‘s hard and I cry every day.”
    FREEDOM – The French, in fact, cut all ties with family and why her father accused her to be surrounded by some malicious person. At the same time, Arsalan refers to the sender all the accusations: “Our success has created a lot of jealousy” – told to the Journal du Dimanche remembering the 15th worldwide place in 2010 – But if I really wanted to deny freedom to my daughter I would have imposed a veil and religious books. I just tried to protect my children, like an Iranian immigrant in a foreign country. ”
    MONEY – Today, however, Rezai has exacerbated the allegations by denouncing her father for extortion and violence. Accused of a payment by € 35 thousand imposed by his former coach, who among other things, was paid € 2000 per month. A hard blow to be collected for Arsalan which admitted just days ago: “I have devoted my life to her and I haven’t a pension. I’m almost 60 years and it gets complicated.” Difficult now that the president of Federtennis, Jean Gachassin, is able to call everyone to the table to find a compromise, as called before Roland Garros where Aravane was eliminated in the first round .. The complaint was filed in Boulogne Billancourt, where held the prestigious tournament, on the outskirts of Paris, and returned to Saint Etienne, where the family Rezai resides.
    FAMILY – A family that lives an experience common to many others in the world of tennis. The examples of over-protective dad are numerous, by Sabatini Graf, passing Seles, Capriati, Sharapova, Lucic, Williams, not to mention the father of French number one Bartoli. Stories of tensions that sometimes become cases of real master-fathers such as Pierce and Dokic. But there are also happy stories as well as that between Yanina Vickmayer and her father Marc, inseparable. A report may also consolidated by the death of her brother in a car accident at the age of 23. However, family stories.

    I found this link but I don’t understood Spanish 😛

  13. Francesca, thanks for all the effort. Haha the English version has appeared in the meantime: [link expired]

  14. This girl is very pretty. It is common that Muslim parents abuse their kids. It is in their blood. Aravane should cut any contacts with her father. Good luck Aravane.


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