guarantee of Australian Open wildcard for Tomic
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[November 01, 2017]
MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tennis
Australia has reached out to Bernard Tomic out of concern for his
"health and wellbeing" during a steep rankings slide but has offered
no guarantees of a wildcard to the Australian Open in January.
The former world number 17's ranking has plunged to 145 after a
forgettable season and he will not have enough points to qualify
directly for Melbourne Park.
Tomic has raised fears about his mental state, describing himself as
"bored" with tennis and feeling "trapped" in the game during media
However, the Australian player has also drawn fierce criticism for
his half-hearted approach to the game and for boasting about his
prize money despite not trying very hard.
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley said it was clear
Tomic was "struggling".
"We've reached out to Bernie from a health and wellbeing point of
view and it's up to him to respond," Tiley told local media.
"He's been talking to (Davis Cup captain) Lleyton (Hewitt). He's in
a tough place right now.
"His ranking has dropped and he's struggling; we've all seen it.
"Our job as a federation is to make sure we've got a team of people
there to support beyond tennis and that's really where we're at."
Tomic has generally played well at the year's first grand slam and
would be a drawcard for local fans despite his polarizing ways.
Tiley said it would be up to Tennis Australia high performance chief
Wally Masur and twice grand slam champion Hewitt to decide whether
he should get a wildcard.
[to top of second column]
Bernard Tomic (AUS) returns a shot against Andy Murray (GBR) in the
quarterfinals during the Western and Southern tennis tournament
at Linder FamilyTennis Center,
Aug 19, 2016; Mason, OH, USA. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA
Relations with Hewitt have been tested by Tomic's decision to opt
out of Davis Cup this year, with the captain saying publicly that he
was "frustrated" with the player.
"He hasn't been able to convert the points that he needs to get to
be a direct entry to the Australian Open," said Tiley.
"We're used to having him be there in that position so he'll need to
rely on some help in getting in but I'll let Lleyton and Wally make
"Obviously it's his goals, it's his career, it's his objectives,"
"We'd like to see him take up the offer (of help) and to continue to
work on advancing his career.
"Often players will go through that up and down and he's probably in
that down phase right now."
(Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Clare Fallon)
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