Former world No. 17 Bernard Tomic qualified for the Australian Open main draw and afterward insisted his tennis ambitions still burned. Tomic, now ranked at No. 228 in the world, flew to Doha to participate in the Australian Open men's qualifying event.
On Wednesday, Tomic edged out fellow compatriot John-Patrick Smith 6-4 5-7 7-6 (7) in the Australian Open qualifying final round. "I am in Doha, I risked my life flying here, my health, Covid’s around, many sick, with many things that can go wrong.
I’m risking my life, and I’m playing and competing. Of course, I want to get there,” Tomic said after qualifying for the Australian Open, per the AAP. "Otherwise I’d be hanging my rackets up. I don’t need to play tennis again, I’ve got enough money – so why are you asking me that question? Don’t ask questions like that”.
Tomic tired like never before
In each of his three qualifying matches played, Tomic won the opening set but opponent forced a decider. In the end, Tomic ended up beating Jozef Kovalik, Tristan Schoolkate and Smith in three sets.
"I’m very tired, more tired than happy to be honest. I’ve never been this tired, and I’ve played a lot of tennis,” Tomic revealed. "I’m not over-excited but it is a good thing, it is nice, but I’m physically pretty bad.
“JP’s playing well, and had nothing to lose.
I was physically so bad, I wasn’t able to execute my shots”. "You’re the people who write the bad stuff about me. I’ve qualified for a slam – what should you be writing? Tomic, who hasn't enjoyed a good reputation in the media over the last few seasons, demanded some good stuff written about his name.
"I don’t think you guys have been fair towards me in the last half-decade, [or] decade. You can spin it whatever way you want, but don’t escape the fact I’ve qualified for a slam. “If you like me and you’re a fan of me, write nice”.
When asked if he could still win Wimbledon, Tomic said: "Probably not - with the level of the players around today, I’m not going to say I’m going to win Wimbledon, it’s tough to win a grand slam.
“Do I have a chance of winning a slam at this stage or in the next year? No. But do I have a chance of playing well in a slam? Yes”.