Bernard Tomic has missed out on a wildcard for Australian Open qualifying, marking the first time in 15 years that he won't be involved in the Melbourne Park grand slam. Tomic's name was missing when organisers announced the wildcards for qualifying on Saturday, with a spot in the Australian Open main draw on the line.
The former Wimbledon quarter-finalist has tumbled down the rankings in recent years and is currently World No.462. He was as low as No.825 in August before making four finals at Futures events at the end of 2022 - winning three of them.
Tomic has been part of the Australian Open in some shape or form every year since 2008, including the last few years when he participated in qualifying. But despite being Australia's 22nd ranked male player he was overlooked for a wildcard entry into qualifying this year.
Six of the spots instead went to Aussie youngsters James McCabe, Philip Sekulic, Derek Pham, Jeremy Jin, Edward Winter and American Bruno Kuzuhara - who won the Australia Open junior boys title in 2022 - all of whom are ranked lower than Tomic. Dane Sweeny, Tristan Schoolkate and Adam Walton are all higher than Tomic.
Tomic, who didn't actually apply for a wildcard, said on Saturday: “I’m not expecting any favours. I’m going to prove my point and earn my way.
“I understand Tennis Australia has made their decision. It’s good to see the young tennis players getting an opportunity. I’m at a place in my life where I don’t complain anymore. I’m focused and I’ve been training hard. I’ll let my tennis do the talking. Last quarter of 2022, I won three tournaments and made four finals.
“This year is my year, if no one is going to help support me, I’ll get back to top 100 on my own. My headspace is very different. I’m in a positive environment, good people around me, I’m in a healthy, happy relationship. Now all there is to do, is get back to where I belong.”
Despite Tomic not applying for a wildcard, organisers still could have granted the 30-year-old a spot. However that appeared unlikely after Tomic burned all his bridges with Tennis Australia and Lleyton Hewitt (one of the wildcard judges) in recent years.
“No one likes him any more,” Tomic said of Hewitt in 2019. “We have a lot of issues that not a lot of players are happy about. We all know who those players are. Myself, (Thanasi) Kokkinakis, (Nick) Kyrgios.”
Tennis fans react to news about Bernard Tomic
Tomic has also fallen out with Nick Kyrgios and has engaged in a number of online stoushes with his compatriot in recent months. When one fan on Twitter suggested that Tomic deserved a wildcard into the Australian Open main draw last month, Kyrgios commented: “Hahahahaha NO HE DOESN'T”.
Last year Tomic even claimed that he is Kyrgios' 'idol'. He said: “He’s always been in my shadow growing up. That’s why anytime someone mentions my name to him, it gets under his skin.
“He knows he can’t re-write history. The records that I set when I was 16, 17, 18, and 19 - youngest slam quarter-finalist at Wimbledon, the biggest tournament in the world."
Kyrgkios responded: “HAHA TOMIC let’s not forget the time I paid for your flight home from Shanghai because you had no money. Hahahaha re-write history, you are the most HATED athlete in Australia. You are right, no one can take over that.”
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