A decade ago, Bernard Tomic was touted as one of the most exciting talents on the tennis circuit. He reached the quarterfinal of Wimbledon in 2011, and reached a career-high singles ranking of 17 in 2017. But what was once a promising career slowly but steadily started spiralling downwards. Altercations with officials, off-the-court issues, injuries and surgeries started taking a toll on his on-field performances.
From representing Australia in the 2012 Olympics to the Davis Cup and being a regular at the Majors, the 31-year-old is now playing in the ITF Futures $25,000 tournament in Chennai as he looks to climb up the ladder.
Speaking after his first-round victory over Grigoriy Lomakin on Tuesday, Tomic said, “We (him and Grigoriy Lomakin) were both struggling a little bit, and Grigoriy stopped at the end. “It is my first match in India. I felt a bit tired and tough to breathe; the air quality is different here. I am getting used to the conditions here; the more matches I play, the more I will get used to the heat.”
When asked about the last 18 months, he said, “I missed a lot of tennis in the last four years; after that Covid hit, I took time away as I was mentally not there in the sport. I like to be a little bit quicker; it is tough as I get older, but that is okay, and I cannot complain, and I am focussing on being injury-free”.
During his first-round match, Tomic’s talent and experience were evident with his powerful serves, strong forehand returns and deft drop shots, culminating in a 6-3, 5-2 victory. When asked about his goal for this season, he said, “The goal is to be back in the top 100 or top 50. I am 31 now, and it will be nice to be in the top 50 at the end of this year”.
Talking about how he has changed, an introspective Tomic said, “Of course, I have changed a lot. I have matured a little bit more. It has positively impacted my game. If I knew these things in my 20s, if I was professional and did everything that was asked of me, maybe I could have won a Grand Slam. I do not know if I did the right thing.
“Whatever is meant to happen will happen. You cannot control destiny; everything happens for a reason in life. You learn to respect little things. For sure, I could have been in the top-10, but it is okay. I am in a happy space now. I will try to break into the top-100 or top-50 again and do good things in the next three years.”