Tomic’s tal­ent ‘ in world top five’

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LEO SCHLINK

THANASI Kokki­nakis hopes Bernard Tomic can find a so­lu­tion to a mid- ca­reer cri­sis, declar­ing the Queens­lan­der too tal­ented not to be a high achiever.

Tomic is un­der fe­ro­cious scru­tiny after a timid Wim­ble­don sur­ren­der and the du­bi­ous use of a med­i­cal time- out to stall op­po­nent Mis­cha Zverev.

Told Tomic ad­mit­ted be­ing bored and burnt out at the cra­dle of ten­nis, Kokki­nakis said: “It’s crazy, he’s 24 but he has been around so long.

“He was so good young. I think per­son­ally he’s like a top- five tal­ent in the world.

“It’s tough for him. There is a lot of pres­sure on him ob­vi­ously. He came up be­ing so good.

“Hope­fully he can get it to­gether be­cause he’s a re­ally good player, es­pe­cially when he’s switched on. He’s so skil­ful.”

Grand slam su­per­vi­sors will con­sider a tran­script of Tomic’s ex­tra­or­di­nary post- match in­ter­view, where he re­vealed he wasn’t in­jured.

Asked why he called for the trainer, Tomic said: “I just thought I’d try to break a bit of mo­men­tum, to use that as my strat­egy, be­cause I was just play­ing very bad and feel­ing bad.

“I tried to use some­thing dif­fer­ent maybe, slow him down a bit on the serve.”

Tomic pock­eted $ 64,000 in 84 min­utes, earn­ing just over $ 900 for each of the 71 points he won in a straight- sets loss to Zverev.

In a ram­bling dis­ser­ta­tion, the Queens­lan­der re­vealed he had no re­spect for the sport and was “men­tally not there.”

Zverev, who beat Andy Mur­ray at the Aus­tralian Open, was stunned by Tomic’s list­less show- ing. “Well, I thought it was go­ing to be a com­pli­cated match be­cause I played him a cou­ple days ago in East­bourne,” the Ger­man said.

“It’s not al­ways easy, be­cause it seems like, maybe let’s say he’s the op­po­site of Rafa on the court with the in­ten­sity level.”

In a can­did and bru­tal self- ap­praisal, Tomic pon­dered whether he would ever muster the mo­ti­va­tion to ful­fil his tal­ent.

But he stopped short of say­ing he could ever change his ways.

“This is my eighth Wim­ble­don or ninth, I think. I’m still 24, and it’s tough to find mo­ti­va­tion,” he said.

“To me, this is one of the big­gest tour­na­ments in the world that I have done re­ally well in my ca­reer, and, yeah, I just couldn’t find any­thing.

“It’s hap­pened to me a lot. It was def­i­nitely a men­tal is­sue out there. I don’t know why but, I felt a lit­tle bit bored out there.”

A week after re­veal­ing he was suf­fer­ing burnout, Tomic said there had been many matches in his ca­reer where he’d men­tally checked out.

Aus­tralia's Bernard Tomic.

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