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PIERCE’S FATHER TELLS HIS SIDE OF THE STORY

SHARE PIERCE’S FATHER TELLS HIS SIDE OF THE STORY

Jim Pierce blamed bad advice for the 11th-hour withdrawal of his daughter, Mary, from Wimbledon and said Tuesday that he should not shoulder any of the responsibility for her decision.

He also denied that he had ever planned to attend Wimbledon this year, something that would have been in direct defiance of his ban from tournaments in which his daughter is playing.In a rambling telephone interview from his home in Delray Beach, Fla., Pierce criticized the coaching and pre-Wimbledon preparation espoused by Mary's advisers, especially his estranged wife, Yannick, and his daughter's new coach.

"I think my daughter pulled out because she had some bad advice from her mother and her would-be coach, Nick Bollettieri," Pierce said.

"My daughter needed time after the French to recuperate," Pierce said, referring to Mary's impressive defeat of Steffi Graf en route to a runner-up finish at the French Open.

"She was told to play in that 21-and-under Mickey Mouse tournament in England where she lost to a 15-year-old Czech girl. That was a poor decision of the coach, to use that as training for Wimbledon."

"You don't let your mind drop to the junior level, when you're playing in the finals of the French two weeks before," Pierce said.