The rift engulfing Australian tennis and Bernard Tomic
Australia's Bernard Tomic returns a backhand (AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus)
Bernard Tomic may say that there are no problems between him and the hierarchy that is Tennis Australia, including Pat Rafter, Tony Roche and Todd Woodbridge.
But it appears to everyone following the game from the outside that there is a growing rift between the Tomic family and the hierarchy of Tennis Australia.
Tomic, who snubbed his invite to the John Newcombe Medal held last Monday, has received a great amount of criticism from key people within men’s tennis in Australia, including Rafter, Roche and Woodbridge.
This criticism has increased further after Tomic was suspended from the Davis Cup tie against Chinese Taipei in Kaohsiung City at the beginning February.
However Tomic has said exclusively to Network Ten that he was never meant to play in the Davis Cup tie against Chinese Taipei after chatting with Davis Cup captain Rafter.
“I was never meant to play that Davis Cup tie as well, I spoke to Pat as well, and I’m going to use that time for training as well, to prepare for other tournaments in America,” Tomic explained.
He also said that he would use this time for practice to prepare for tournaments in the United States.
Tomic has also received criticism from tennis experts worldwide, including American tennis legend John McEnroe, who wasn’t perfect in his career in terms of attitude and behaviour. McEnroe labelled Tomic’s performance at the US Open earlier this year against Andy Roddick a tank job.
“Tomic is teeing it up. It looks like the tank job,” McEnroe said.
Tomic has started to rectify any attitude and behavioural issues that he may have, or may appear to have and is working very hard in preparation ahead of the 2013 season.
“I am working really hard and trying to push myself to become the best tennis player as I can be, and I’ve had a slippery slope the last year, and it’s changing me, and I’ll prove that I’m going to be the best player one day to play this game,” the 20-year-old said.
With Rafael Nadal going through his injury problems, and with the decline of Tomic’s tennis hero Roger Federer getting nearer, world tennis is in need of a young star around the age of 20-21 to come along and challenge the established top-ranked players.
Tomic, with his abundance of natural talent in a technical sense, especially his backhand, combined with his willingness to turn his fortunes around could well prove to be that man.
As for Tomic’s relationship with Tennis Australia, it is not standing in a good way right now, and there is clearly a large, potentially poisonous rift between all parties involved, there is no doubt about that.
Whether the parties like each other or not a great improvement in the performance of Tomic, especially in the short term initially, may mend the relationship of both parties in the long term, even if this is difficult in the short term.
The rise to the top could happen sooner than many of you think for Bernard Tomic.