Just one month after boasting about never having to work another day in his life, Bernard Tomic has crashed out of the US Open and slumped to 142 in the world.
The former grand slam quarter-finalist now faces the humiliating prospect of having to qualify for the Australian Open following his first-round loss in New York.
It was his first match since being fined a Wimbledon-record $US15,000 for saying he was ‘a little bored’ during his first-round defeat at the All England Club.
‘I’m happy with my life … I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again,’ he added, prompting widespread backlash.
Bernard Tomic has crashed out of the US Open and slumped to 142 in the world
The former grand slam quarter-finalist now faces the humiliating prospect of having to qualify for the Australian Open
Tomic, 24, was beaten comprehensively by 19th seed Gilles Muller (right) in the first round of the US Open
Tomic’s four-set loss to 19th seed Gilles Muller should see him drop to 142nd in the rankings, leaving the former world No.17 very much at a career crossroad.
Unless he improves his ranking to around 105 by the end of the season, the 24-year-old will miss direct entry to his home major.
An insider told AAP they suspected Tennis Australia would be reluctant to extend the generosity of a wildcard to Tomic after he opted out of last year’s Rio Olympics and no longer represents Australia in the Davis Cup.
Tomic told AAP he wouldn’t ask for a wildcard and said he remained confident of boosting his ranking sufficiently with some strong results during the Asian swing.
But after also revealing in a recent TV interview he’d spent much of his career not giving 100 per cent in matches, Tomic is unlikely to gain many wildcards to big events and will need to play low-level Challenger events to boost his ranking.
‘It’s no sort of threat for me. I’ve been in this position before and I managed to turn it around quickly,’ he said, recalling how he battled back after falling to 124th in the world following double hip surgery in 2014.
‘It’s about being healthy the next six months to a year.’
Tomic, pictured partying on the Gold Coast as a teenager, was fined $US15,000 at Wimbledon for saying he was ‘a little bored’ during his first-round defeat at the All England Club
Tomic boasted that he would never have to work again after 10 years of tennis, but now faces the humiliating prospect of grinding his way through low-level Challenger events
After also complaining of being burnt out during his extraordinary post-match press conference at Wimbledon, Tomic said his motivation – if not full health and fitness – had returned following a six-week break from tennis.
Tomic, though, maintained he still felt ‘trapped’ in tennis and would likely need to play on into his 30s – unless ‘I can win a major or two, maybe I can retire early’.
I’m not going to finish a doctor’s degree. I’m not the smartest person in the world
‘I mean, it’s tough. Everyone has their own work, their own job and it’s not like I can go and start real estate or something, restaurants. I’ve got no idea about that,’ he said.
‘Yes, I can afford to do those things, but I’ve got no idea. My job’s only to play tennis and it’s all I know.
‘I’m not going to finish a doctor’s degree. I’m not the smartest person in the world.’
Tennis great John Newcombe feared at Wimbledon that the troubled star was close to suffering breakdown but Tomic said he was back in a good head space.
But he accepted he needed to work hard physically to return to the elite of the top 20.
‘It’s not easy. It’s a tough level, but it’s my fault this year,’ Tomic said.
‘I haven’t been giving a lot of focus and commitment to tennis in the start of the year.
‘That’s took a toll in losing a lot of points. It’s my fault, but I need to turn it around.’
‘I’m not going to finish a doctor’s degree. I’m not the smartest person in the world,’ Tomic said
After his US Open loss, Tomic accepted he needed to work hard physically to return to the elite of the top 20.