'I'm telling you': Bernard Tomic's concerning Australian Open virus claim

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·Sports Reporter
·3-min read
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  • Bernard Tomic
    Bernard Tomic
    Australian tennis professional
Bernard Tomic predicted he would test positive to the coronavirus within two days of his Australian Open qualifiers loss after complaining about symptoms to the chair umpire. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)
Bernard Tomic predicted he would test positive to the coronavirus within two days of his Australian Open qualifiers loss after complaining about symptoms to the chair umpire. (Photo by Graham Denholm/Getty Images)

Bernard Tomic has predicted he will test positive for Covid-19 within two days after he crashed out of the Australian Open qualifiers in straight sets.

Sporting newly bleached hair against Russian contender Roman Safiullin, Tomic appeared to be struggling throughout what was ultimately a swift 6-1 6-4.

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It took Safiullin less than one hour to send Tomic packing, in what ultimately turned out to be a typically strange sideshow for the world No.257.

Behind 2-1 in the second set, Tomic made a series of statements to chair umpire Aline Da Rocha Nocinto at the change-over, telling him he thought he had contracted Covid-19.

Tomic even bet a dinner on it.

"I'm sure in the next two days I will test positive, I'm telling you," the 29-year-old said from his chair.

"I'll buy you dinner if I don't test positive in three days, otherwise you buy me dinner (to the umpire)."

The umpire clearly wasn't having a bar of it though, while Tomic sat and continued to fume about what he considered to be inadequate testing arrangements.

"They're allowing players to come on court with rapid tests in their room, c'mon ... no official PCR testing," he said.

After the match, Tomic posted on Instagram that he had gone into isolation and was awaiting further results and treatment.

Another Australian, Nick Kyrgios, had to withdraw from the Sydney Tennis Classic after he contracted COVID-19.

Bernard Tomic complains of Covid-19 during Australian Open qualifying loss

A lethargic Tomic was seen by the trainer at the first changeover in the opening set and was seen taking his pulse while out on court.

The 29-year-old was broken in fourth game and quickly capitulated, losing the first set in just 23 minutes.

Tomic rallied in the second but Safiullin, who was an unlikely star in Russia's run to the ATP Cup semi-finals last week, had his measure.

Oblivious to his opponent's virus claims Safiullin offered a fist bump after match point, which Tomic accepted.

The Australian was unable to attend a post-match media conference to explain his insipid performance with organisers taking a cautious approach after his COVID-19 comments.

Since becoming the youngest player, at 16 in 2009, to win a men's main-draw match at the Open, Tomic has made the second week three times and reached the third round on four other occasions.

Tomic was the only Australian out of 20 hopefuls to successfully make the Open main draw last year when the men's qualifying event was held in Doha.

The former world No.17, now ranked 260, hadn't played in an ATP tournament since September, when he retired in the first round of a qualifier event in Kazakhstan.

In fact, Tomic hadn't won a set since a first-round qualifying victory at Wimbledon last June.

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