Nick Kyrgios puzzled by peculiar Bernard Tomic taunts

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·Sports Reporter
·4-min read
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Nick Kyrgios says he was left baffled by recent attempts at trash-talk from former rival Bernard Tomic. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images)
Nick Kyrgios says he was left baffled by recent attempts at trash-talk from former rival Bernard Tomic. (Photo by Casey Sykes/Getty Images)

As far as competitive tennis goes, Bernard Tomic has essentially been a non-entity for the last few years - making his sudden potshots at Nick Kyrgios all the more puzzling.

Kyrgios was left somewhat surprised by some cheeky but slightly pointed comments from Tomic during a recent interview with the Gold Coast Bulletin.

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Believing 'one more chance' to turn his career around, Tomic said he regretted some of the more memorable outbursts of his career.

In particular, he said his infamous comment about 'counting his millions' following his exit from the 2018 Australian Open was one that he did not look back on fondly.

Nevertheless, despite boasting of a more focused attitude towards on-court success, Tomic couldn't help quipping that he still believed he was the fundamentally better play compared to Kyrgios.

“Obviously Nick is a good player, probably top six or seven servers in the world. Obviously beat him in Kooyong 6-3 6-4,” Tomic said.

“Because I train with him I pick where he’s serving and I know where he’s at so that style doesn’t really bother me.”

Quizzed about Tomic's comments by the The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, a bemused Kyrgios was at a loss to explain exactly why Tomic was lashing out.

Kyrgios said it was particularly odd considering what he considered to be a fairly strong relationship and understanding between the two.

“I’m probably one of the only people in tennis in Australia that’s stood up for him multiple times,” Kyrgios said.

“I’ve done things for him, my family, my brother’s done things for him."

Nevertheless, Kyrgios thinks it'll be a while before Tomic, who will have to enter the Australian Open via qualifiers, gets the chance to prove he's the better player.

“I’m not sure (if we will play each other this summer), but as far as I’m aware, I don’t think he is even in the Australian summer," Kyrgios said.

“I haven’t seen his name anywhere, or what tournaments he is playing.”

Kyrgios' path to Australian Open confirmed

Kyrgios has finalised his Australian Open preparations but Novak Djokovic's build-up has taken another turn as the grand slam braces for a slew of high-profile absences.

The divisive Australian talent, now ranked No.93 in the world after a quiet 2021 season that last saw him play just 15 matches, will contest the Sydney Tennis Classic from January 10.

It'll be the former world No.13's final hit-out ahead of the Australian Open, while he's set to return at the Melbourne Summer Set from January 4.

Eighteen of the world's top 24 women, including Australia's world No.1 Ashleigh Barty will tune-up for the Open at Sydney Olympic Park, as will Australian men's No.1 Alex de Minaur.

Local pair Alex Bolt and Thanasi Kokkinakis, as well as in-form West Australian Storm Sanders, have received wildcards to the Adelaide International from January 2.

Nick Kyrgios says it would be a 'disaster' if Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer were all absent from the 2022 Australian Open. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for Laver Cup)
Nick Kyrgios has dropped to the 90s in the world rankings after only playing 15 matches in 2021. (Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images for Laver Cup)

"I've been training at home in Canberra and here in Sydney and I feel good after an extended break from the game," Kyrgios, who will start the year as Australia's sixth-ranked man, said.

"I'm looking forward to the final hit-out before the AO, thanks to Tennis Australia for the opportunity to play."

Injury and a reluctance to travel during the COVID-19 pandemic have contributed to the mercurial talent's slide down the rankings.

But his box-office standing at Melbourne Park next month shapes to be as crucial as ever, given the uncertainty surrounding the status of the sport's biggest names.

Top of the list is Djokovic, who is bidding for a men's record 21st grand slam title and a 10th Australian Open crown.

The 34-year-old is on the entry list but yet to commit to the Australian Open following the COVID-19 vaccination mandate agreed by Tennis Australia and the Victorian Department of Health.

Djokovic has repeatedly declined to disclose whether or not he is vaccinated, citing privacy concerns.

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