The Roar
The Roar


Why do people hate Tomic?

Bernard Tomic was involved in another strange match on the ATP Tour. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)
Roar Pro
2nd July, 2014
3667 Reads

Everyone loves Nick Kyrgios. Who wouldn’t? He plays attacking, entertaining tennis, is still in his teens and is beating the world’s best.

His success has put smiles on people’s faces. This is in direct contrast to the scowl that appears when people talk about Bernard Tomic. The pleasure Kyrgios has brought people has shone a light on the public loathing of Tomic.

Tomic is a brat, they say. He’s soft and always injured. He has talent but won’t fulfil it. Sometimes he looks like he’s not trying. It comes down to two things: he’s not likeable and he’s not a winner.

At the age of 21, though, Tomic deserves some slack. He is not perfect and some of the criticism he receives is fair, but he’s not as bad as he is made out to be. Besides being a wealthy young tennis player, he is not too different from the average person of his age.

He has always dominated junior tennis and is confident because of that. Let’s not forget most sports people are arrogant and this is often an important part of their success.

Nick Kyrgios backs himself and we don’t hold that against him. Tomic has been put in the James Magnussen category though. Magnussen claimed to be the best in the world and missed out on gold in Beijing by one one-hundredth of a second. The public will never forgive him.

Tomic has been exposed to absurd wealth at a young age too. Like a lot of young sports stars, he has used his money to buy fast cars and fund a lifestyle of excess. Many people who are 21 years old would make similar decisions if they had his cash balance.

It would be nice if he decided to plough his money into charities (though he did play in the Hit for Haiti charity event) or invested it in blue-chip stocks and a three-bedroom house in Brisbane, but he’d be labelled a boring prude if he did.


In terms of character, Tomic’s only indefensible acts are his driving indiscretions. He should know better and will hopefully be law abiding in the future.

Tomic’s character, on the whole, is not perfect but he’s not Australia’s worst bloke either. In person, away from the pressurised environment we are used to seeing him in, it is probable he would be a pleasant, engaging person to chat to. He hasn’t done enough wrong to have the whole nation dislike him as a person.

The other issue people have with Tomic is that he is struggling to fulfil his talent.

In 2012 he made it to the round of 16 at the Australian Open and in 2013 he reached the same point at Wimbledon. His progress appears to have stalled though. Too often he loses in the first or second round.

Tomic, in reality, is still a very good player. He is ranked 75 in the world and could play for another 10 years at the highest level. One day he may win a grand slam. His past couple of years have been ruined by injury after all.

People are getting tired of hearing about his injuries and some call them excuses. This is harsh given tennis is a brutal, one-on-one sport where minor niggles can be the difference between being world class and not up to it. Rafael Nadal can shake off injuries but not many players are as tough as him.

Australians tend to dislike sports people who over-promise as a junior and then don’t deliver. Many AFL fans revel when high draft picks don’t become champions.


Tomic is suffering from this. He may never be the world’s best player but we shouldn’t hate him for that. We should admire the fact he is still amazingly good.

The public needs a bit of perspective on Tomic. He is a young man who has made some poor decisions and suffered some injuries, which has affected his game.

But he’s not the monster he is made out to be, and he certainly has the talent to be improve on what is an excellent start to his career. Nick Kyrgios isn’t the only tennis player we should be supporting.