Bernard Tomic isn’t too worried about his Australian Open snubbing, insisting ‘this year is my year’ and he wants to ‘get back to where I belong’.
The world No.462 wasn’t among the wildcards announced for Australian Open qualifying by Tennis Australia, with the 30-year-old set to not be involved at Melbourne Park for the first time in 15 years.
Tomic was ranked as low as 825 before he won three Futures titles at the back end of 2022, falling short in one final also.
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The polarising Aussie believes he is on the right track to surge up the rankings regardless of the decision made by tennis authorities to leave him out of the first Grand Slam of the year.
“I’m not expecting any favours. I’m going to prove my point and earn my way,” Tomic told The Age.
“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.”
Intriguingly, six of the men’s qualifying wildcards selected by Tennis Australia have rankings that are currently worse than Tomic – Australian’s James McCabe, Philip Sekulic, Derek Pham, Jeremy Jin, Edward Winter and USA’s Australian Open 2022 junior winner Bruno Kuzuhara.
The other three wildcards, Dane Sweeny, Tristan Schoolkate and Adam Walton, all have a ranking superior to Tomic.
Tomic reached as high as No.17 in the world during 2016 but his career has been dogged by injury and controversy.
He reached a Wimbledon quarter-final in 2011 and has made the fourth round in Australia on three occasions.
Tomic was most recently in the headlines for a spat with Australian No.2 Nick Kyrgios.
A war of words has been exchanged between the pair over who is the better player in recent weeks, with Kyrgios insisting that Tomic was the ‘most hated athlete in Australia’.
After Kyrgios’ latest serve to Tomic, the Queenslander delivered a challenge back to the world no.76, inviting him to play in a head-to-head match for $1 million to see who comes out on top.
“I’ll put up a million and you put up a million, let’s see who is the better player,” Tomic, who is ranked 418, said to the Gold Coast Bulletin.
“Let the public see who is better for once and for all. I’ve beaten you easy (sic) before and I’ll do it again. Plus we’ll play on grass so you don’t make any excuses.