Fans spot notorious figure in Bernard Tomic's box at Australian Open

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·3-min read
Bernard Tomic's father John, pictured here in his courtside box at the Australian Open.
Bernard Tomic's father John was spotted in his courtside box at the Australian Open. Image: Twitter/Getty

There was one very notable addition to Bernard Tomic’s entourage as the controversial Aussie enjoyed a rare win at the Australian Open on Monday night.

Tomic earned his first win at a grand slam tournament in two-and-a-half years, gifted passage into the second round when Yuichi Sugita had to retire hurt.

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Tomic fought back after a nervous start in the first-round affair and appeared headed for victory when Sugita took a medical time-out during the third set.

Sugita, nursing an abdominal complaint, carried on for two more games but couldn’t complete the match, which Tomic led 3-6 6-1 4-1 when it was called off.

“I played very, very badly in the first set,” Tomic said.

“I was kind of a little bit nervous. It was windy, it was cold. It was pretty bad.

“But the second and third was some of the best tennis I've played in a while.”

The 28-year-old was cheered on by his courtside “coach” - reality TV love interest Vanessa Sierra - and controversial father John, whom fans haven’t seen in a number of years.

Tomic Sr was suspended by the ATP in 2013 after he allegedly headbutted his son’s training partner Thomas Drouet.

John Tomic received a suspended jail sentence after Frenchman Drouet suffered a broken nose and needed stitches to a cut above his eye.

Vanessa Sierra and John Tomic, pictured here watching Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open.
Girlfriend Vanessa Sierra and father John Tomic watch Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open. (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

He has also lashed out at Lleyton Hewitt in the past and slammed Tennis Australia for providing a lack of support to son Bernard and daughter Sara.

On Monday night, Tomic was reportedly spotted in a fiery conversation with his father after the match.

“He was here supporting, doing what a dad should do I guess,” Tomic said in his post-match press conference.

“It was nice to have him there for sure.”

When asked about his conversation with John, Tomic said: “Yeah, it was nice, huh.”

Tomic sets up clash with Shapovalov

Tomic’s win sets up a second-round showdown with World No.12 Denis Shapovalov, who beat rising star Jannik Sinner 3-6 6-3 6-2 4-6 6-4 in a five-set thriller.

Tomic cited a nagging knee injury as the reason for his nerves, having dealt with the issue on and off for the past few weeks.

“I didn't feel it today, so it was good,” Tomic said.

“I'm hoping (it will hold up throughout the tournament).”

Tomic, ranked 233rd, didn’t get to complete a match point against Sugita but the win was still his first at a grand slam tournament since a straight-sets triumph over Hubert Hurkacz at Wimbledon in July 2018.

It was also his first at the Australian Open since defeating Victor Estrella Burgos in January 2017.

“It's good and it's a great feeling,” Tomic said.

“Am I a bit excited? Probably not, but it's good to be back, I guess, at this level.

“I played some solid tennis in (qualifying) and I'm just happy to be here.”

with AAP

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