John Isner believes his close friend Justin Gimelstob is innocent until proven guilty and hit out at arrogant Lleyton Hewitt for calling for his compatriots head.
Two-time Grand Slam doubles champion Gimelstob is facing charges after being accused of assault by venture capitalist Randall Kaplan.
Former world No. 1 Lleyton Hewitt responded to the allegations in November by calling for the Americans head.
The ATP World Tour must lead by example and do something about this, the Australian tweeted while posting a screenshot of an article titled Tennis star Justin Gimelstob arrested over brutal Halloween attack.
While Hewitt is convinced Gimelstob – a member of the ATP board – should be removed from his position of power, Isner takes a different view.
The 33-year-old is close with Gimelstob – who was seen cheering him on in his coaching box during Isners run to the semi-finals of Wimbledon – and hit back at Hewitt for suggesting he should leave his role with the ATP.
Of course Justin is very close to me, as a friend and as a coach, Isner told ESPN.
But even if he wasnt, at the current time I would still support him because hes innocent until proven guilty. Well know the facts soon enough. It might not be a popular opinion, but as of now, I have to give Justin benefit of the doubt.
I dont think [Justin] should take a leave right now. We dont know the facts yet.
Hewitt doesnt know the facts, either. Hes the guy who was involved in his own nasty situation with James Blake, and Im not calling for his head, or for him to step down from working with Tennis Australia. Hes being arrogant.
The incident Isner is referring to dates back to 2001, when Hewitt was accused of racism during a US Open match against James Blake after a verbal spat with the umpire over a line judge foot-faulting him.
Look at him (the linesman) and tell me what the similarity is (with Blake), a 20-year-old Hewitt said at the time. I want him off the court. Ive only been foot-faulted at one end. Look at what hes done.
Mr. Gimelstob did not intend to respond to the recent media coverage about him and instead focus on his family and career, a statement sent to Metro.co.uk from Gimelstobs lawyer Shawn Holley read.
However, he now feels compelled to do so based on the nature of numerous blatantly false allegations. Mr. Gimelstob unequivocally and absolutely denies ever engaging in domestic violence or homophobic behaviour of any kind. Any suggestions to the contrary are false.
While Mr. Gimelstob cannot respond to every allegation here due to ongoing legal matters, many are baseless, contradicted by neutral third parties and court rulings, and driven by unfortunate personal vendettas.