Bernard Tomic: 'It was a mental issue out there'
BERNARD Tomic has admitted to feeling "bored" with tennis and losing respect for the game in an extraordinary press conference after crashing out of Wimbledon.
The Australian player was crushed in straight sets by No. 27 seed Mischa Zverev, who cruised to a 6-4 6-3 6-4 win.
Fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis also lost to Juan Martin del Potro, while Nick Kyrgios pulled out through injury on the opening day.
In a brutally honest post-match press conference, the burnt-out Tomic admitted feigning an injury and having lost respect for the sport.
"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," he said.
"It's happened to me a lot. Just can't find anything on the court. This is my eighth Wimbledon, or ninth I think. I'm still 24, and it's tough to find motivation."
He also issued an extraordinary challenge to Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic when asked if he would return his prize money.
"If you asked Federer to give back $500 million would he do that or not?
"We all work for money. At 34 maybe I can donate to charity but if you ask Roger if he'll do it I'll do it. If Roger and Novak and these guys do it, I'll do it, no problem."
Despite claiming he had hurt his back on court and telling a trainer he had been injured in the warm-up, Tomic said he was actually suffering from a "mental issue".
"It was definitely a mental issue out there," he said. "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 I felt a little bit bored out there, to be completely honest with you."
The young player said a decade of tennis had taken its toll on him and he doesn't "do the right work" to be successful.
"So I feel holding a trophy or 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.
"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.
"I know I have another 10 years to go. We all work for one thing. And I believe you have to respect the sport.
"But I think I don't respect it enough, yes, because I - you can say - (I'm) super talented (but not delivering).
"I just believe playing many years on tour now has sort of taken a toll."
During the match, tennis commentator Roger Rasheed led the criticism of Tomic, saying the young Australian needs to seriously address where his career is heading.
"Bernie, I just don't know where his tennis career is at," Rasheed told Fox Sports.
"Well, I know where it is at, I just don't think he has the capacity he talks about, because there's nothing to suggest there's any desire to be that player."
Tomic was in the top 20 players in the world last year at Wimbledon, but come the end of the grass court season, he is expected to be closer to 80 in the world.
Rasheed said that alone reflected exactly how much Tomic is putting into his game currently.
"Your ranking doesn't lie and your effort does not," Rasheed said. "Your effort generally rewards you."
Todd Woodbridge said the lost ranking points now meant he could be forced to qualify for the US Open.
"Not a lot of intensity there from Tomic," Woodbridge said. "He's in big trouble this year with his ranking, training, fitness and dedication.
"He's potentially going to fall to a position where he's going to have to qualify for the US Open."
Others online also criticised the player for being unprofessional and uninspiring. However some praised his honesty for slogging it out in the solitary game.
In the match, Zverev tore Tomic apart with his first serve. The German smashed 18 aces past Tomic, winning 96 per cent of first serves.
Tomic was unable to put any pressure on the Zverev serve at any time in the match, failing to even generate a break point opportunity throughout the three-set drubbing.
Rasheed said Tomic's approach to shutting down the German's game was in keeping with the Australian's current attitude towards tennis.
"He's standing straight up and down and not providing enough presence as a returned," Rasheed explained.
"When you're returning it's important for you to get into their face at the other end of the court.
"You need to show hunger and that you're ready for your serve, at the moment it's too easy."