Ten­nis is just ‘a job’ for Tomic

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT -

MEL­BOURNE: Un­der-fire Aus­tralian ten­nis player Bernard Tomic has boasted of his “amaz­ing” achieve­ments in the sport and win­ning mil­lions of dol­lars in prize money de­spite not re­ally try­ing hard through­out his ca­reer.

In an can­did in­ter­view with Aus­tralian broad­caster The Seven Net­work, the 24-year-old also said he felt ‘trapped’ in the sport and had no re­grets about his Wim­ble­don ad­mis­sion of be­ing ‘bored’ dur­ing his first round de­feat, a com­ment which cost him a steep fine and his spon­sor­ship with racket man­u­fac­turer Head.

“Through­out my ca­reer I’ve given 100 per­cent. I’ve given also 30 per­cent,” Tomic said.

“But if you bal­ance it out, I think all my ca­reer’s been around 50 per­cent and I haven’t re­ally tried and I’ve achieved all this,” Tomic said.

“So it’s just amaz­ing what I’ve done. I never loved ten­nis. I am just go­ing to go about it as a job. Wouldn’t any­one want to take a job in a pro­fes­sional sport in one of the big­gest sports in the world and only give 50, 60 per­cent and earn mil­lions of dol­lars? I think every­body would take that.”

Once touted as a po­ten­tial grand slam cham­pion and a top 10 player, Tomic’s rank­ing has slid to 73 from a ca­reer-high of 17 at the start of 2016.

Af­ter de­feat by Ger­many’s Mis­cha Zverev at Wim­ble­don, Tomic said he felt a “lit­tle bored” on the court and had suf­fered from a lack of mo­ti­va­tion for two years.

“I don’t re­gret what I said,” he said. “At the end of the day, it might sort of look bad ... and we Aus­tralians don’t like that. I’m an hon­est per­son and say what I feel. Ex­press­ing how I feel, and show­ing emo­tion in a dif­fer­ent way ... they don’t like it,” he said of his de­trac­tors.

Tomic has won over $5 mil­lion in prize money on the ATP cir­cuit and owns prop­er­ties around the world but said he felt “con­fused” and a pris­oner of the sport.

He said he would tell his 14-year-old self not to make a ca­reer of ten­nis, had he the choice.

“My po­si­tion, I am trapped. I have to do it,” he said.

“Not many things can make me su­per happy,” Tomic added. “If I ever get the chance to win a grand slam, I think only then will I feel the feel­ing of be­ing re­ally, re­ally happy.”

The in­ter­view sparked a storm of crit­i­cism in Aus­tralia yes­ter­day.

Ten­nis Aus­tralia’s high per­for­mance chief Wally Ma­sur said both Tomic and his tem­pes­tu­ous com­pa­triot Nick Kyr­gios needed to de­cide whether they wanted to play and then com­mit to be­ing their best.

“He’s bat­tling. Bernie has been ul­tra-pro­fes­sional since he was 14 and it’s like he’s suf­fer­ing some sort of burnout,” Ma­sur told lo­cal me­dia.

“It’s out of our ju­ris­dic­tion, but we have reached out ... He’s just got to start to en­joy the sport again.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.