Bernard Tomic: punk to prince?

Jocelyn McLennan Roar Pro

By Jocelyn McLennan, Jocelyn McLennan is a Roar Pro

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    Bernard Tomic takes on Lucas Pouille in the fourth round at Wimbledon. (AAP)

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    News Limited sports journalist, Mark Stevens, titled his story on Andre Agassi’s 2003 Australian Open victory, ‘From Punk to Prince’.

    Could Bernard Tomic’s straight sets, 6-4 6-4 victory over world number one Novak Djokovic at last night’s Hopman Cup, be titled the same?

    Stevens was referring to Agassi’s transformation from brash young player, more concerned with his image and celebrity status than his tennis future, to a well-respected crowd favourite who had finally fulfilled his youthful promise.

    Agassi even had gone as far to film a TV commercial in the late 80s uttering the words “image is everything”.

    Although Agassi later said that he sorely regretted that part of his youth, at the time came it hurt him badly when he was troubled by injury and subsequently fell from favour with even the most patriotic American fans.

    At times, his tennis future looked shaky. Agassi earned the punk title when playing Jimmy Connors at the US Open, in all his brashness in 1988, with one member of the crowd yelling out “don’t worry Jimmy, he is a punk, you are a legend”.

    The similarities have not been lost on Bernard Tomic in the last twelve months.

    He teased the world with promise of great things to come when pushing Djokovic all the way in their 2011 Wimbledon quarter final.

    Since then, the wheels have fallen off both on and off the court. Tomic spent just as much time in court as on it as he seemed to get addicted to the image drug, with this love of fast cars and celebrity life.

    One thing has been very clear since the beginning of this year’s Hopman Cup: Tomic must have had some serious PR training since the latter part of 2012.

    The manner in which he is conducting himself with the media and the public is a far cry from his childish spat with a journalist at the US Open press conference after being accused of tanking.

    While Djokovic might like to deflect the Hopman Cup loss as being merely an ‘exhibition’ match, I am sure those in the Tomic camp are taking the win taking it as the prize scalp it is.

    Whether this is one day out for Tomic in the blistering Perth sunshine or the start of the royal transformation to regal status, only time will tell.

    That is what makes the future, and the coming Australian Open, even more intriguing.

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    The Crowd Says (21)

    • January 3rd 2013 @ 7:07am
      The Grafter said | January 3rd 2013 @ 7:07am | ! Report

      Not a hope.

      Any 19 year old when pulled over by the police whom states ‘dont you know who I am’? has along way to go.

      In the ego massaging world of tennis, and seeing how Tomics family ‘support his behaviour’ (at least in public), I would be surprised if this bloke can turn himself into a ‘reasonable’ human being.

      • January 3rd 2013 @ 10:59am
        Brewski said | January 3rd 2013 @ 10:59am | ! Report

        This is a story that has been passed to me second hand, so i can’t vouch for it, but a person i know was in a Gold Coast hospital (couple of years ago) and commented to a nurse that he was interested in tennis, turns out the nurse was Tomics mum and in the next few days bought in snippetts of info and spoke glowingly of her son, which is what parents do.

        During the course of their conversations turns out she worked many extra shifts to pay for his travel/tuition/schooling etc so therefore IMO with that sort of background of family support and hard work ethic I would expect the kid to turn out all right.

        He would not be the first kid to be a smartarse and get ahead of himself, he has obviously been sheltered form the real world to a degree and wrapped up in his sport.

    • January 3rd 2013 @ 8:30am
      striker said | January 3rd 2013 @ 8:30am | ! Report

      The Gaffer his only 19 and has alot of maturing to do, give him a break and judge in ten years time not at 19, there is no doubting his talent he destroyed Novak last night and this was no fluke as some people might say he was all class.

    • January 3rd 2013 @ 8:50am
      The no. Three said | January 3rd 2013 @ 8:50am | ! Report

      I reckon that Click are all up in arms about Tomic winning, and how, against the best. I might go sell some more Bonds undies now.

    • January 3rd 2013 @ 9:14am
      Red Block said | January 3rd 2013 @ 9:14am | ! Report

      It should be remembered, Serbia was leading 2-0, so it was a dead rubber. Djokovic bought his C game. A blip on the radar but the media will do their best to build Tomic up before Melbourne.
      No Aussies into the second week, I’ll wager.

      • January 3rd 2013 @ 9:29am
        Matt F said | January 3rd 2013 @ 9:29am | ! Report

        Dead rubber? It was the first game of the tie! Obviously you didn’t watch it or even know about it until very recently…

    • January 3rd 2013 @ 9:48am
      nickoldschool said | January 3rd 2013 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      Need more than a win to change my opinion about the guy.

      Not saying I will always consider him a prat but he would have to change dramatically and I don’t honk he wants that tbh. He is earning good money, has a bunch of followers who pat him on the back no matter what so I guess he has the choice to stay true to himself and keep behaving the way he does. He is young though and there is still hope he will one day realise there is more in life than acting like you’re ‘the man’ to boost your ego.

    • Roar Pro

      January 3rd 2013 @ 10:16am
      Alexander Grant said | January 3rd 2013 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      It’s the Hopman Cup. That means ZERO ranking points being put at risk.

      I’d like to see Tomic repeat this against Djokovic when the Serb has all his endorsements, more prizemoney and his ranking on the line.

      • Roar Pro

        January 3rd 2013 @ 10:25am
        Adam Ludeke said | January 3rd 2013 @ 10:25am | ! Report

        Djokovic isn’t at his peak form yet, but that doesn’t change the fact that he was outplayed by Tomic. It was a very good win for him.

        • Roar Pro

          January 3rd 2013 @ 11:26am
          Alexander Grant said | January 3rd 2013 @ 11:26am | ! Report

          Fair point, but I stand by what I said. Great win for Tomic, and one bout of good relations with the media doesn’t make up for his pitful behaviour to this point. Consistency is the key for well beyond January and for the rest of his career – both in hiss game and handling the media.

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