Bernard Tomic’s embarrassing Wimbledon performance has incensed a range of former tennis stars, who have questioned why the Australian is in the sport if he is “bored” at the third grand slam tournament of the year.
In particular Martina Navratilova, a tennis great who made nine consecutive women’s singles finals at Wimbledon — and 12 in total — and won a total of 20 Wimbledon titles including nine singles victories, reacted with scorn to Tomic’s comments after his opening round exit.
In a stunning post-match admission, Tomic confessed to feeling bored during his insipid 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 first round loss to German veteran Mischa Zverev and not being really concerned by his grand slam results.
He also acknowledged having a mental issue — lacking motivation and not respecting the sport enough.
His comments at the sport’s biggest showpiece prompted Navratilova to say Tomic should get out of tennis if that was how he feels.
“It’s disrespectful to the sport and disrespectful to the history of the sport. If you can’t get motivated at Wimbledon it’s time to find another job,” she said.
“The spectators paid good money to come here and watch Wimbledon and the guy shows up and doesn’t try, he can’t be bothered. Just stay at home.”
Former Wimbledon champion Cash cautioned Tomic about the Australian tennis legacy he was jeopardising.
“I don’t think Bernie by a long shot represents everybody, Australian players,” Cash told the BBC.
“He can do a lot worse than that to ruin the image that we’ve created.
“But a lot of ex-players are cringing, Aussies, especially the guys who started this pro circuit. We wouldn’t be here without these guys.”
Australian six-time grand slam doubles champion Rennae Stubbs labelled Tomic’s comments a disgrace.
“You’re an embarrassment to yourself, and not only to the sport but to Australian tennis,” Stubbs told the BBC.
He needs help, says Rasheed
Leading Australian tennis coach and commentator Roger Rasheed said 24-year-old Tomic needed help and agreed he should walk away from the game for a time.
“The problem is, where does he go?” Rasheed told Sky Sports Radio.
“I don’t know where [support] is going to come from, to be honest.
“You’d like to help the kid, as a person, just to talk to him to see what he’s interested in doing as a passion and try to work with that.”
Despite being heard complaining of a back problem during a medical time-out midway through the match, Tomic later said he was not overly troubled by it.
“It was definitely a mental issue out there,” he said.
“I don’t know why, but I felt a little bit bored out there, to be completely honest with you.
“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.
“To me, everything is the same. I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again.”