‘Trapped’ Tomic says he has no love for the game

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Aus­tralian star Bernard Tomic ad­mits he has no love for a game that has earned him mil­lions, say­ing it is just a job and he feels “trapped”. In a frank Aus­tralian tele­vi­sion in­ter­view, the 24-yearold told his fans to stay at home rather than pay­ing to watch him play if they were op­posed to his po­lar­is­ing on-court an­tics.

“Don’t come,” Tomic said late Sun­day. “Just watch on TV, you don’t have to pay any­thing.” Tomic, who was hit with a US$15,000 fine af­ter he claimed he was “bored” dur­ing his lack­lus­tre firstround de­feat at Wim­ble­don last month, said he os­cil­lates be­tween full com­mit­ment and ap­a­thy on court. “Through­out my ca­reer I’ve given 100 per- cent. I’ve given also 30 per­cent. But if you bal­ance it out, I think all my ca­reer’s been around 50 per­cent,” he said in the in­ter­view. “I haven’t re­ally tried, and (still) achieved all this. So it’s just amaz­ing what I’ve done.” The tal­ented Tomic has long been plagued by con­tro­versy, mak­ing head­lines last year when he turned his rac­quet the wrong way to face a match point against Fabio Fognini in Madrid. Once mooted as a ris­ing star of the sport, he has slid down the rank­ings to 73 from a ca­reer-high 17 and added: “I’m just go­ing to go about it as a job.”

Tomic di­vides opin­ion in Aus­tralia and there was both crit­i­cism and sup­port fol­low­ing his lat­est can­did rev­e­la­tions. He has had a frac­tious re­la­tion­ship with Ten­nis Aus­tralia, which dropped him from the Davis Cup team, but the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s head of per­for­mance Wally Ma­sur ex­pressed sym­pa­thy yes­ter­day. “Bernie has been ul­tra-pro­fes­sional since he was 14 and it’s al­most like he’s suf­fer­ing some sort of burn-out at the mo­ment,” Ma­sur told re­porters.

‘DON’T PLAY TEN­NIS’

The tabloid Syd­ney Daily Tele­graph pulled no punches: “Few peo­ple lose any sleep over Bernard Tomic these days. “As a na­tion Aus­tralia has be­come ac­cus­tomed to the ten­nis brat’s shame­ful per­for­mances on the ten­nis court and off it, and his win­dow of for­give­ness is now barely a cen­time­tre wide, if it’s even there at all.”

But he won a more sym­pa­thetic hear­ing on so­cial me­dia. “Tough to watch be­cause Tomic is a tal­ent that doesn’t re­alise his po­ten­tial. Needs guid­ance and di­rec­tion,” tweeted Aus­tralian foot­ball star Tim Cahill.

Aussie NBA bas­ket­baller An­drew Bogut said on so­cial me­dia: “Watched Tomic in­ter­view. Will cop flak for my opin­ion: His fam­ily is the root of most of what’s go­ing on. Hope he finds peace + bounces back.” Asked dur­ing his in­ter­view to pro­vide ad­vice to as­pir­ing ten­nis play­ers, Tomic was blunt. “Don’t play ten­nis. Do some­thing you love and en­joy be­cause it’s a grind and it’s a tough, tough, tough life. My po­si­tion, I’m trapped. I have to do it,” he said. “Ten­nis chose me. It’s some­thing I never fell in love with.” He also stood by his in­flam­ma­tory com­ments af­ter be­ing con­tro­ver­sially elim­i­nated at Wim­ble­don by Ger­man Mis­cha Zverev. “I don’t re­gret what I said. That’s why I said it-to piss a few peo­ple off,” he said.

“I didn’t come from a rich fam­ily. We had no money. “And now liv­ing in all these lav­ish houses and prop­erty around the world, it’s my choice. It’s some­thing that I’ve worked for. ”Tomic was axed by his rac­quet spon­sor just hours af­ter his Wim­ble­don fine, deem­ing his be­hav­iour un­ac­cept­able.

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