Tomic happy to put 2016 con­tro­ver­sies be­hind him

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

SYD­NEY: Bernard Tomic has no qualms wip­ing his hands of a year he would rather for­get and, with a re­duced sched­ule next year, is keen to make a fresh start when he opens his sea­son in Bris­bane.

The 24-year-old Tomic, once con­sid­ered Aus­tralia’s next great hope in men’s ten­nis, was plagued by an ab­dom­i­nal in­jury, fined for swear­ing at a fan, ac­cused of not try­ing and in­volved in a spat with the Aus­tralian Olympic team chief this year. De­spite reach­ing a ca­reer-high rank­ing of 17, the is­sues only re­in­forced a feel­ing amongst fans and the me­dia that he was not overly in­ter­ested in play­ing the sport, though that was some­thing he de­nied yes­ter­day.

“I’m not the best, I’m not the bright­est, but we all have our prob­lems,” Tomic told re­porters on the Gold Coast ahead of the Jan. 1-7 Bris­bane In­ter­na­tional tour­na­ment. “I think the main thing is I’m do­ing what I love and I re­ally re­spect the sport.”

Tomic said he was now clear of the ab­dom­i­nal in­jury that blighted a year in which he made just one fi­nal, at Aca­pulco, and two other semi-fi­nals, at Bris­bane and the Queen’s Club in Lon­don.

His per­for­mances at the grand slams were in­con­sis­tent with fourth round ap­pear­ances at the Aus­tralian Open and Wim­ble­don but a sec­ond-round exit at Roland Gar­ros and a fail­ure to clear the first hur­dle at the US Open.

The Flush­ing Mead­ows loss, as world num­ber 19 to 72nd ranked Bos­nian Damir Dzumhur, earned him a $10,000 fine for fir­ing lewd com­ments at a heck­ler in the crowd. He also drew heavy crit­i­cism in May fol­low­ing his exit from the Madrid Open when, fac­ing match point against Fabio Fognini, he held the rac­quet by the strings and did not of­fer a shot. He later ruled him­self out of con­sid­er­a­tion for the Rio Games af­ter the head of the Aus­tralian team had warned him that his be­hav­iour, and that of Nick Kyr­gios, was be­ing mon­i­tored to judge their suit­abil­ity for the Olympics.

Tomic said few peo­ple truly un­der­stood him­self and his 21-year-old com­pa­triot, who had risen to num­ber 13 in the world. “I think some­times we do push it more than we should,” Tomic said. “But that is our per­son­al­ity, our char­ac­ter. “We are young, we are suc­cess­ful. But it turns into a bit of neg­a­tive en­ergy when we do things wrong. “No one is per­fect but I think we are do­ing a pretty good job.”

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