After Bernard Tomic’s humiliating first round defeat to Germany’s Mischa Zverev, former tennis players tore into the 24-year-old Australian for his insipid showing. Tomic lost 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 in a match where he was not at all motivated to be a part of.
In the post-match press conference, Tomic said, “I wasn’t mentally and physically there with my mental state to perform. I felt a little bit bored. I couldn’t care less if I make a fourth-round US Open or I lose first round. To me, everything is the same. I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again. You have to respect the sport. But I think I don’t respect it enough.”
However, his comments have not gone down well with former Australian tennis player Pat Cash. “I don’t think Bernie by a long shot represents everybody, Australian players,” said Cash to BBC Sport. “He can do a lot worse than that to ruin the image that we’ve created. But a lot of ex-players are cringing, Aussies, especially the guys who started this pro circuit. We wouldn’t be here without these guys.”
Even Australia’s six-time grand slam doubles champion Rennae Stubbs said that the comments Tomic made were disgraceful and termed him as an embarrassment to the sport. “You’re an embarrassment to yourself, and not only to the sport but to Australian tennis,” said Stubbs to BBC Sport.
Get another job
Eighteen-time Wimbledon winner Martina Navratilova said that the Australian needs to find another job altogether and bid adieu to the sport. “It’s disrespectful to the sport and disrespectful to the history of the sport. If you can’t get motivated at Wimbledon it’s time to find another job. The spectators paid good money to come here and watch Wimbledon and the guy shows up and doesn’t try, he can’t be bothered. Just stay at home,” said Navratilova on BBC’s live coverage.
However, Australian tennis coach and commentator Roger Rasheed said that Tomic needs to be guided at this juncture of his life and also take time off from the game. “The problem is, where does he go?” Rasheed told Sky Sports Radio. “I don’t know where it [support] is going to come from, to be honest. You’d like to help the kid, as a person, just to talk to him to see what he’s interested in doing as a passion and try to work with that.”
Only time will tell how Tomic will react to these statements and how his future course of action will be. For now, Tomic is set to fall to at least 69th in the world rankings after the defeat, his lowest since an injury-enforced lay-off three years ago.