Bernard Tomic: I’m Bored During Matches, It’s Tough To Find Motivation Even At Wimbledon
by Tom Gainey | July 5th, 2017, 7:10 pm

Bad news for Bernard Tomic fans (if there are any). The controversial Australian is again in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons after telling the press at Wimbledon that he just isn’t interested in winning. The rant came after a 64, 63, 64 loss to Mischa Zverev. Tomic revealed that he felt “bored” at times during the loss and that he’s just lost interest in the sport.

Tomic is currently ranked No. 59 but with fourth round Wimbledon points coming off, he’ll drop down close to No. 70. So unless he finds that spark, his opportunities will dwindle.

Reports are the tour is considering action against Tomic for his…honesty.

Q. What was the injury?
BERNARD TOMIC: You know, I just thought I’d try to break a bit of momentum, to use that as my strategy, because I was just playing very bad and feeling bad out there. I tried to use something different maybe, you know, slow him down a bit on the serve. He was playing quick and we were all playing quick and he was serving well.

You know, I did play a lot better in Eastbourne, but the conditions were different there. And he is a very, very tough player to play on grass. It’s why he played very well in Australia, made the quarters and beat Murray.

He has the game to play against me. For me, this was going to be tough regardless if I beat him last week or not. It’s a difficult match for me. I just started bad the first set, and then, you know, mentally I wasn’t there after he broke me in the second.

I think I paid the price for that.

Q. Your back okay now? Any issue at all?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, not really. I just — it was definitely a mental issue out there. Yeah, I just tried to break a bit of momentum but just couldn’t find any rhythm and, you know, wasn’t mentally and physically there with my mental state to perform. I don’t know why, but, you know, I felt a little bit bored out there. You know, to be completely honest with you.

So I tried at the end and stuff, he managed to win that set 6-3 or 6-4, but it was too late.

Q. Have you thought of giving the money back?
BERNARD TOMIC: Which money?

Q. The prize money for turning up.
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, if you ask Federer to give back $500 million, would he do that or not?

Q. You were just saying you were bored out there.
BERNARD TOMIC: We all work for money. At 34, maybe I can donate to charity. If you ask Roger if he’ll do it, I’ll do it.

Q. Would you donate it to charity?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, if Roger and Novak, these guys will, no problem.

Q. Have you felt like that before in a game?
BERNARD TOMIC: Many times in my career, and I’m sure you guys know that.

Q. Is this an issue that’s going to keep coming up then, do you think?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think I have done it a lot in my career, and I paid the price. You know, there is a lot of good tennis players out there that, in my opinion, will not win slams. It was just won by a lot of these top guys, and I believe, you know, there are many, many good players that will not win slams.

Hopefully maybe I can win one in my career. Maybe not. We’ll see.

Q. What’s the solution? Because the ability is clearly there.
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, to be completely honest, like I said before, it’s tough, you know. I’m 24. I have done, came on tour at 16, 17. I have been around and feels like I’m super old, but I’m not.

So, you know, just trying to find something, you know, this is my 8th Wimbledon or 9th I think. I’m still 24, and it’s tough to find motivation, you know. Really, me being out there on the court, to be honest with you, I just couldn’t find any motivation.

To me, this is one of the biggest tournaments in the world that I have done really well in my career, and, yeah, I just couldn’t find anything. It’s happened to me a lot. Just can’t find anything on the court.

Q. Have you ever told yourself that the ability is there?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, yeah, I know.

Q. Do you need a break from tennis, do you think?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, you know, I’m happy with my life and obviously there’s — we have to look back. I was in worse positions than this, you know, at 120, 130 in the world, and then managed to turn around the past few years and be a top-20 player.

But, you know, it’s my choice. You know, I know I have to work hard. For sure I don’t do the right work. You know, you need to be super fit and you have to enjoy it and you have to travel a lot. I have experienced a lot until 24.

You know, I know I have another 10 years to go. We all work for one thing. And I believe, you know, you have to respect the sport. But I think I don’t respect it enough, yes, because I, you can say, super talented.

I just believe playing many years on tour now has sort of come, taken a toll. You need to find that sort of energy. I’m just trying to find something. Now heading into the U.S. maybe play well in some tournaments there. Nothing to lose. Just try and enjoy it.

Q. Is success still important to you?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. You know, to be honest with you, you know, I see, for example, Zverev winning Rome, and achieving, you know, I have won titles in my career, I have made finals, a bunch of them.

So I feel holding a trophy or, you know, doing well, it doesn’t satisfy me anymore. It’s not there. I couldn’t care less if I make a fourth-round US Open or I lose first round. To me, everything is the same. You know, I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again.

So for me this is mental.

Q. Can you understand there is frustration with the general public with the way that you present at times?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, of course. I mean, look, Nick’s I think the same. You know, we are these players that, you know, obviously are different.

Like I said, there is so many good players, in my opinion, that have done a lot better than me that will never win Grand Slams in their career that are on tour. And, you know, having that ability, like myself or Nick, you know, we can play amazing and maybe we win one, two, as opposed to they never win in their career.

Maybe this is an advantage, but we have many years to go and obviously I will have to work harder to have any chance of winning a Grand Slam, this is for sure.

Q. Do you want to work harder?
BERNARD TOMIC: Sometimes I do; sometimes I don’t, you know. You know, I’m just speaking honest truth about it. You know, some weeks I play well and beat a bunch of players and do super well in tournaments.

That’s sort of what brought me in the past couple years in the top 20, when I was 19 and 20, 20s, 25 in the world. I was enjoying it.

But now it’s a roller coaster, and I just can’t seem to find, like, the commitment to work hard, to enjoy, and to lift trophies. Maybe I have to look at a few things and maybe play less tournaments.

But to me right now, I’m just not super pleased, not happy with myself, but I’m in between.

Q. Nick is putting off surgery. You have had double hip surgery. What advice would you give him, given you came back to reach a career high ranking after surgery?
BERNARD TOMIC: Good question. He’s played so well in his career in the last three years, and, I mean, I know it’s his labrum and hip and just his left one. He doesn’t have that problem with his right. I had two hip surgeries the same week. I was out for four or five months.

Prior to I think I made the Sydney final, lost to Del Potro. After that I couldn’t play for three, four, five months, and my ranking went from whatever, 50 to 130.

But I knew I needed to work hard then to get back in. And, you know, one year later I was at 17 or 16 in the world, and managed to play well last year as well, started 17 and finished at 24, 23.

I feel like he just needs to do it, because, you know, there is a lot of players that have done it. Raonic, Lleyton, myself. And if he has that problem, then I believe he needs it done because he’s serving and he’s an explosive player and he’s using those hips and legs. I feel he has to put aside a couple months.

He’s not doing two hips, I believe. One shouldn’t be a problem. Should be back enjoying tennis in a couple months.

Q. Do you think an extended break might tell you how much you want this sport and how much you want success?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, right now not really. I mean, I’m playing Atlanta, Washington, and I’m going to continue to play Toronto, whatever, US Open, try to do well there.

Yeah, and then last year I had the same situation. I mean, I finished at 23, 24, but I sort of didn’t play end of year from after Beijing, Shanghai, because I was a little bit tired and stuff.

But, you know, I will continue to work and try to do well in those U.S. tournaments and we’ll see. Can’t guarantee anything.

Q. There were some strong criticisms on social media, particularly from Australians back home. Is that something you take notice of? Do you have any opinion on that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Strong criticism? When, for today or no?

Q. Yeah, today.
BERNARD TOMIC: Like, what was said?

Q. One person I saw was calling for you to be deported from Australia.
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I’ll have to take — that’s pretty bad.

Q. I thought it was pretty harsh, to be fair.
BERNARD TOMIC: I know, I know. Well, that’s his opinion. I’m sure he’s on the computer somewhere making $50 an hour.

Q. (Question about changes off court.)
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it’s there. Whenever I want, put a good team, people to help me and support me. Can get good coaches and this is no problem for me. But I don’t think I really want it. And it’s a problem I have just got to assess it. And even if it takes some time, and, you know, see how this works. Because right now, like, if you say, can you get a coach and trainer, because I have had four, five people on my team and stuff.

But the last sort of year or two, nothing motivates. Even the years I was in the top 20 I was with one of my friends that’s not even a coach, lives in Miami, he was helping me for the year, and I got there. It was all myself that pushed to succeed and to play well the past two years.

These last six, eight months can’t find any sort of — like you said.

Q. On a day like today, do you feel any kind of guilt or anything towards the people in the crowd when you feel like you can’t give your best effort?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, it’s not I don’t give my best. I still try to go for it in a way today. Because he was serving well. I couldn’t really serve at all. The points seemed pretty quick, because they are only one-, two-rally shots. He’s serve/volleying every point.

I just got upset with myself because a few chances I had I completely mishit the balls or wasn’t focused. That’s obviously me, and, you know, Ferrer is maybe different to me, obviously.

Me, you know, while I do feel a bit of guilt and I’m like maybe I could have played four or five sets, but in my opinion, he played well and I was just playing terrible and I just couldn’t find any rhythm, and he deserved to win.

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17 Comments for Bernard Tomic: I’m Bored During Matches, It’s Tough To Find Motivation Even At Wimbledon

thark Says:

When I first saw this interview I was disgusted, but reading the words again I can see how easily we are distracted by Tomic’s defensive visage of apathy. The truth is that he is completely lost, not just as a player, but as a person. And he is laying that out naked, for everyone to see. It’s almost a cry for help. He’s not just saying ‘Hey, I’m rich and I don’t have to care, so I think I’ll rub your noses in it, even though you are the ones who made me rich,’ he’s saying ‘I don’t know why I’m here or what the point is – being rich and good at sports feels empty and pointless and I don’t know why I get up in the morning. And I’m telling you guys, not because you are the most likely to be disgusted by my attitude, but because I don’t have anyone else to tell. Because all the things that really matter are missing from my life.’ The big four have really fulfilling and stable family lives – their sport is built on a foundation. Tomic has none of that. And what happened when Nole’s foundation recently developed a few cracks? We see clearly what happened. Somewhat paradoxically, the only way to get Tomic out of this funk is for people to empathize with him. He needs a team around him in a much bigger sense than just sport. He sounds like a jerk because he can’t quite formulate the truth: ‘I’m depressed and lonely, and all of my early success didn’t fix that like I hoped it would, so I’ve dropped off a cliff and I could really use some help.’

Wog Boy Says:

Tomic has been fined $15K for his comments after the match, rightfully so.

thark, your comment would make a sense if this was one of behavior of Tomic, but he is repeated offender, he deserves whatever he gets, but Australian Tennis is to blame too for spoiling him, his father and his sister and giving them whatever they asked for, they were so desperate to have new champ that they lost the plot.
How can you be sorry about him when he still boasts about his Ferrari, BMW, not having to work until the end of his life etc etc.
The thing he doesn’t realize is “easy come easy go”, just ask Philippoussis, Kokkinakis coach!

Andrew Says:

Tomic had the talent to be a top 10 player. Poor attitude and lack of mental focus are the only things preventing him from being one of the best players.

t4t Says:

thark makes a lot of sense. Tomic needs help.

Mike Says:

His $15,000 is nothing to him, I think a first round loss still earns the player $45,000. As he said himself, after his tennis life is over, he’ll never have to work again.

skeezer Says:

Get paid for losing the first Round? Would rather see players who enter have their expenses paid to enter that is all(if they qualify). If they win a match, then they get paid. No pay the first rd, only if they win. He should have been fined 45k.
FYI Head has dropped Tomic from sponsorship.

BBB Says:

thark, I had the same reaction as you. I read it expecting to be disgusted with him, and instead he sounds depressed.

Wog Boy Says:

Nice article supporting thark and BBB view, and that comes from former sport psychologist from AIS in Canberra, I am not so convinced but he does have a point, besides, that’s his job, sport psychologist:

Truth Says:

At least the sad atomic told his story.

The top players, even when they were playing with incredibly weak draws, were treated better than low ranked 100+ guys.

Look at the story of one bad boy Daniel Koellerer.
Daniel was abusive and was finally banned for match fixing.
If the ATP followed rules & banned abusive, illegally overrated liars like Roddick, they wouldn’t have had fake propaganda about ugly tennis vs. pretty, winning Federer tennis.
Average amateur folks could’ve joined the ATP and lost matches, with 0-6 0-6, vs. Fed and then Fed would’ve been called the best and prettiest player ever…

chrisford1 Says:

Thark – No thanks on assisting Tomic as a poor soul crying out for help, who just needs people’s support. The guy has been a giant tool since he was a junior. A chip off the old block, if you will, with one of the most dysfunctional asshole parents in tennis.
But he has been given chance after chance by Australian tennis and by organizers and sponsors outside Australia the see the talent, but are blind to the low character and stupidity that has been the definition of Tomic all his life.
That Aussie/tennis powers that be excusing of his transgressions is wearing off. Bernie may find his endorsements dry up by age 25. I don’t think he or his family is that intelligent about money, and “never having to work another day, for life” may be wishful thinking.

Wog Boy Says:

Well, that’s my problem with him too CF1. He hasn’t turned out like this in the last year or two, so one can say he suddenly entered depression, he was always like this, from the first year he was thrown on the professional circuit at the age of 16. There is huge difference between him and Kyrgios “fu€k all” attitude, Kyrgios is much smarter dude, I don’t think Tomic has particularly high IQ.
I agree about the money too, especially knowing that he is not in full control of his money.
I mentioned Philippoussis, once his Melbourne garage was full of Ferrari cars, few years back he was bankrupt, moved back with mother and had to mortgage his mother’s house and was playing legend tour for a small change just for basic necessities. He is now coaching Kokkinakis. I can well see Tomic on the same road, the only difference is, nobody will want him on the legend tour and he doesn’t look like somebody who can coach.

By saying all of this I feel pity for him, he is result of few circumstances, coming from immigrant family that came from war torn Bosnia, not really educated, wanted to succeed and live the dream western world life using their child as a tool to achieve it, that dream life came with a price. Young Tomic will pay that price, the old one can still drive the taxi and be happy with his life but not young one.

AndyMira Says:

I wonder for a long time now why Nike is still hang on with him?Surely his attitude and behaviour can’t be put at the same level as Rafa,Roger,Serena and other’s?

BBB Says:

Thanks for that WB. I think Tomic’s spending habits are suspect, and you’re right that no one will be interested in his services if he washes out and needs some help.

The asshole parents are precisely why I am inclined to have some compassion for him. Classic tennis parents, exploiting their kid.

Margot Says:

skkeeze @ 12.41.How is that fair? You work your butt off, you reach the first round, you play x, also a challenger, you win. You work your butt off, you reach first round, you play top 10 player, you lose. One collects expenses, one collects healthy pay cheque, both times equal effort. Just no :(

Van Persie Says:

Agree Margot, Lot of young talents would decline to play first rounds, if they were not paied. Would be a loss for tennis.

Van Persie Says:

Slams would be like the masters, where mainly top 100 players and wild cards have access.

Wog Boy Says:

When you just start to feel some compassion for Tomic you realized you haven’t seen the worst, not yet. This is his “up yours” message to Australian fans from the USA where he is on holiday:

“Message to all Australians that don’t like me:
End of the day, at only 24, you guys can only dream about having what I have at 24.
End of the day, don’t like me or whatever. Just go back to dreaming about your dream car or house while I go buy them.”

Just for your information, Australia helped found his early career to the tune of an estimated 4 million dollars, what an waste of money!

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