Ashleigh Barty has lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semi-finals of the Cincinnati Masters, missing the chance to reclaim to regain the No.1 ranking.
Sure, we all know young Bernard Tomic is prone to the odd brain explosion, but for all his double-faults, Bernard Tomic is a bloke that does things very much his way, and we should all respect that.
He’s an enigma who plays a weird brand of dinky dink tennis, mixed with the odd thunderbolt from the baseline, which often gets under the skin of his opponents. It’s a style all his own, and which has seen him climb to Number 22 in the world, as well as moving rapidly up the ladder to the current number two in the most disliked sportspeople in Australia.
Who would have thought, for instance, that on match point, it would be a great idea to hold your racquet so that you’re trying to return the ball with the handle of the racquet.
He came up with this stroke of genius a few days ago in a first round match at the Madrid Open against a bloke called Fabio Fagnini, and went down swinging his racquet handle 6-2, 6-4, looking like his tender age of 23 was actually higher than his IQ.
Then there was in a recent Davis Cup tie that Australia had to win against America. At a particularly tense stage of the match against John Isner, Bernie does a tremendous dummy spit on a changeover and audibly accuses his mate Nick Kyrios (current number one in the most disliked sportspeople in Australia) of faking sickness so he didn’t have to play.
Not even Lleyton Hewitt, the new Aussie team captain, who’s never been short of temper tantrums himself, knew how to respond. Tomic lost the match in four sets, and did himself no favours with anyone with his bizarre and petulant outburst.
There’s every chance that Bernie doesn’t give a flying forehand about anyone or anything… why should he? He’s become a very wealthy young man doing things his way. So if he has the odd brain implosion against opponents, teammates, tennis officials, coaches, parents, umpires, fans, tennis court managers, and the like, then that’s just the Tomic way, and if you don’t like it, then it’s no skin of Bernie’s nose.
He even had the temerity to have a crack at the greatest player of all time, Roger Federer, who he claimed at a press conference was nowhere near Djokovic as a player any more. This was in response to Federer who dared to suggest that Bernie might need to train a bit harder if he wanted to be a top ten player.
He’s a strange young man our Bernard. His tennis style reflects his personality. Often irritating, prone to tremendous lapses in judgement, but very successful on and off the court.