Dutch player knocked out by pushy parent


Originally published on: 09/08/11 11:22

The father of Karen Barbat, a 19-year-old Danish tennis player who has reached No.474 in the world, took the case of the pushy parent to new extremes this week after reportedly hospitalising another player. 

Eyewitnesses told how Mihai Barbat knocked out 28-year-old Dutch player Elise Tamaela as she cheered on compatriot Danielle Harmsen in a third round qualifying match against his daughter.

German player Scarlett Werner, who had been due to play doubles with Tamaela, reported the incident on her facebook page. “Incredibly, a father of a player has beaten my doubles partner and [she] is now in hospital. Whether we can compete in doubles tomorrow is in the stars. Hopefully she will feel better soon and this attack will be punished.”

Sander Tamaela, Elise’s brother, posted his own account of the incident on Tennis Forum, saying Barbat was “calling her names from the start of the game. He then knocked her out with a punch and elbows to her temple. She immediately lost conciousness for about five minutes…”

The match was defaulted after the incident (Harmsen was awarded the win) and Mihai Barbat fled the scene with his daughter.

Barbat had already gained notoriety on the tour for his behaviour, having been arrested in the parking lot outside qualifying for the e-Boks Open in his native Copenhagen in August 2010. Prior to that incident, he had severed ties between his daughter and the Danish Tennis Federation.

Tamaela is currently in hospital in Halle, but her family hope she will be well enough to return to the Netherlands on Wednesday.


Tim Farthing, Tennishead Editorial Director & Owner, has been a huge tennis fan his whole life. He's a tennis journalist and entrepreneur as well as playing tennis to a national standard. He also helps manage his local club and volunteers for his local tennis organisation. He's a specialist in content about the administration of professional tennis and tennis coaching for all levels.