Tomic to ap­peal as greats back Aussie

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - LEO SCHLINK

BERNARD Tomic is adamant he did not dis­re­spect Wim­ble­don de­spite ad­mit­ting he was bored dur­ing a con­tro­ver­sial first- round loss.

The Queens­lan­der will ap­peal a $ 20,000 fine for un­sports­man­like con­duct, claim­ing his com­ments were directed at him­self, not the tour­na­ment.

Tomic lost a lu­cra­tive rac­quet spon­sor­ship with Aus­trian com­pany Head as the con­tro­versy rolled on.

But the Queens­lan­der in­sists he was speak­ing about him­self, not Wim­ble­don when he used the word “bored”.

“In my press con­fer­ence, I talked about how Wim­ble­don is the great­est tour­na­ment in the world,” Tomic ex­clu­sively told News Corp Aus­tralia.

“I never dis­re­spected Wim­ble­don. I let only my­self down by be­ing hon­est.

“I’m not a ro­bot when I do press. I was asked ques­tions and I an­swered them hon­estly. I think to be fined for say­ing I was bored – I wasn’t say­ing any­thing about Wim­ble­don – is a bit harsh. “We will ap­peal.” Tomic was charged with un­sports­man­like con­duct af­ter con­fess­ing he strug­gled with mo­ti­va­tion in a straight­sets loss to Ger­man Mis­cha Zverev.

The $ 19,725 fine will be de­ducted from Tomic’s prize­money cheque of $ 64,000, pend­ing the ap­peal.

No­vak Djokovic em­pathised with Tomic, not­ing Head had re­tained Maria Shara­pova de­spite her dop­ing breach but dumped Tomic.

Lat­vian Ernests Gul­bis said Tomic was “not a bad guy”.

In a long and con­tro­ver­sial in­ter­view, Tomic said: “It’s a roller­coaster and I just can’t seem to find the com­mit­ment to work hard, to en­joy, and to lift tro­phies.

“The last two years, noth­ing mo­ti­vates.

“Wasn’t men­tally and phys­i­cally there to per­form. I don’t know why, but I felt a lit­tle bit bored out there to be com­pletely hon­est with you.”

The “bored” com­ment is be­lieved to have in­censed All Eng­land Club of­fi­cials.

And it prompted Head to dump Tomic.

In a state­ment, Head said: “We were ex­tremely dis­ap­pointed with the state­ments made at Wim­ble­don by one of our spon­sored athletes, Bernard Tomic.”

But for­mer world No. 1 Mats Wi­lan­der de­fended Tomic.

“Ev­ery­body jumped on one or two sen­tences, that is all,” the Swedish cham­pion said

“But he is just try­ing to ex­plain how he feels ... what is go­ing on.

“I guar­an­tee you ev­ery sin­gle player here at Wim­ble­don feels or has felt like Tomic is say­ing he feels.

“I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate that he was hon­est about it.”

CON­TRO­VERSY: Aus­tralia’s Bernard Tomic re­acts af­ter his first round Wim­ble­don loss to Ger­many's Mis­cha Zverev.

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