I feel unstoppable, I feel I’m playing great tennis.
When you know no-one can beat you, not to even the number one, you’ve got a good feeling and it’s amazing stepping on court.
Okay, okay I geddit. There’s a fine line between confidence and arrogance, and how you want to read Tomic’s comments after his win in Sydney depends on your opinion of Tomic. And I hear the other side of the argument from Tomic Apologists as well: the guy is young! We’ve been harsh on him for things that other young people do. He’s confident! What’s wrong with that? He just went for a whole … 2 weeks undefeated, including against the No 1 player in the world. He’s allowed to be a little cocky. We should judge him so harshly because of his history because some of his earlier controversies were all because of his father. And boyyyyy … aren’t we glad we’re through with that man? Bernard Tomic is the “bad boy” of Australian tennis, and hey – everybody loves a bad boy, right?
Right. Let’s look at Tomic’s history here:
The guy’s come under fire for his lack of effort in a tennis match no fewer than 3 times in his short career thus far: first in 2007, when Tennis Aus cut Tomic’s funding due to an appalling performance in a juniors match at the French Open; and more recently, against Roddick at the US Open and later on in the Davis Cup, which led to Pat Rafter publicly dumping Tomic from the team for the first tie in 2013, citing ‘attitude problems’.
In 2009, the ITF suspended Tomic for a month after he walked off court mid-game in a Futures tournament. It was later revealed that this was kinda his father’s fault. In the same year, Tomic snubbed Lleyton’s invitation to practice at Wimbledon because Lleyton was “not good enough“. Tomic later claimed this was because he had swine flu, but more likely, he was just a swine.
Fast-forward to 2012, Tomic threatened a journalist, got fined by the police three times in one day, locked himself in his house, and got into a fight on the balcony of a Gold Coast penthouse during his birthday celebrations.
Even more recently, Tomic decided to retaliated Rafter’s public scolding after the Davis Cup by pulling out of the second tie for 2013, and telling the press that he won’t be speaking to Rafter before September this year.
And after all that, this is still the guy that the Australian press wants to put on a pedestal. This is still the guy that the Australian Open tournament organisers think deserves to be in the spotlight, playing every one of his matches at the Open on Rod Laver Arena on prime time TV. This is still the guy that the regular sports media of this country thinks we should all be looking up to and getting behind.
I’ve heard people blamed it on his age, his father, the media or even Pat Rafter. But at the end of the day, a 20 year old tennis player who has had all the resources and support of his country thrown at him from the start of his career, a player who has rubbed shoulders with the best and fairest in Australian tennis, should have learned by now how to behave in a way that befits the ideals of this sport, or at least doesn’t become a giant, fucking contradiction to the legacy of Australian tennis.
Evidently not. Evidently, Tomic’s ginormous, malfunctioning ego is preventing him from being anything less than a bucket of douchenuggets.
Q. I’m sure you’ll probably say ‘take it one match at a time’. Third round against Roger Federer, can you beat him?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I saw the papers this morning (laughter).
Well, if he gets that far. I mean, like I said, the first round is my goal, to beat this guy. I do struggle against some guys out there. I don’t know how this guy can play. If the possibility comes for me to win that first match, I’ll look for my next round, which is also tough.
I would love to get in that position to play Roger in the third round. He has to get there as well. You don’t know what can happen. Tennis is a funny sport. So we’ll see.
“If he gets that far”? Oh Bernie, I don’t think you need to worry about Roger Federer.
And as for the Fudd, I hope he’s reading this somewhere in his hotel room, fired up and ready to do some 2007-styled dismantling.