My generation of tennis fans was already incredibly lucky to grow up watching two of the best tennis players of all time, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, in their prime years.
Bernard Tomic says he was offered millions of dollars to play tennis for other countries and remains amazed he’s done so well at the sport given how little effort he sometimes puts in.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Seven Network’s Sunday Night program, the troubled star was again unapologetic for the way he played tennis and lived his life.
“There’s been big offers to play for different countries. Millions that … people could only imagine,” he said without elaborating on which countries or when the offers were made.
“And, you know, I never did that. I stayed loyal to Australia … at the time I thought about it. The money was insane.”
Tomic, who has slid down the rankings from a high of No.17 to No.69 after a year of lacklustre displays, came under fire most recently at Wimbledon where he lost a first round match in straight sets and admitted to putting in little effort.
Afterward, he described himself as being bored on court and added that critics could only dream of what he had earned by the age of 24.
“Throughout my career, I’ve given 100 per cent,” he told the Seven Network. “I’ve given also 30 per cent. But if you balance it out, I think all my career’s been around 50 per cent and I haven’t really tried, and really achieved all this. So just amazing what I’ve done.”
Tomic defended his father and sometimes coach John, saying the worst he’d done was throw balls at him.
But there were no good words about former Davis Cup captain and two-time US Open winner Pat Rafter.
“Pat’s said a lot of bad things about me, throughout my career, and, you know, he’s always perceived as this nice guy, and this image,” said Tomic.
“People don’t know him in the back of closed doors. He’s not that much of a nice guy … he likes to put on a show.”
He conceded the Davis Cup side was better off without him – at least until he worked out what he really wanted.
Tomic also felt he was “trapped” by the sport because he’d earned a good living from it.
“It’s affected me a little bit mentally and emotionally,” he said.
“So now it’s just about finding my balance and pushing on the next 10 years and being successful even more.”