Bernard Tomic has crashed out of the Australian Open qualifiers in spectacular style, boasting to reporters about his wealth in a trademark arrogant post-match interview.
The 25-year-old was particularly blunt to reporters after losing to unknown Italian player Lorenzo Sonego, who is ranked 281th in the world.
‘I just count money, that’s all I do. I count my millions,’ he said. ‘You go do what I did (on court). Bye bye.’
Tomic (left) looked drained after the taxing loss to Sonego (right) on Sunday at Melbourne Park
Italian tennis player Lorenzo Sonego celebrates after defeating a tired-looking Bernard Tomic
Tomic looked shattered after the 6-1 6-7 (5-7) 6-4 defeat on Sunday, often not even moving to return serves in an often-punishing first set.
While Sonego will now go on to contest the main draw for the first time in his career, Tomic hasn’t won a grand slam-level game since last year’s Australian Open.
His crass comments about money echo the remarks he made after his loss at Wimbledon last year, when he boasted, ‘You probably don’t like me but, at only 24, you guys can only dream about having what I have.
‘End of the day, don’t like me or whatever. Just go back dreaming about your dream car or house while I go buy them.
Tomic, the world current number 142, will further slump in the ATP rankings as he will lose his points earned from a third-round appearance at Melbourne Park last year.
Tomic, the world current number 142, will further slump in the ATP rankings to number 170
Bernard Tomic faces an uncertain future after not winning a grand slam-level game for a year
He was also overlooked for a wildcard invitation to play the Open after turning down an offer to take part in a training camp.
With his ranking now dropping in about 170th in the world, the Herald Sun has hinted that his next step may not be onto the tennis court.
The publication has interpreted Channel 10’s announcement that ‘a tennis star’ will ‘reach breaking point’ on the next season of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!.
However, Tomic has denied the rumours, despite the fact that he reportedly ‘bragged to colleagues he had been offered more than $1 million to appear in the show’.
But the Ten network described the rumoured payments as ‘grossly over-inflated and simply false: ‘Network Ten does not confirm or deny any speculation about the identities of celebrities for the upcoming series of I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!,’ a Network Ten spokesperson said.
‘However, recent press speculation regarding rumoured celebrity payments are grossly over-inflated and simply false.’
Channel Ten teased that a ‘world famous’ tennis star will soon join the cast of ‘I’m A Celebrity’
Rumours are swirling that Tomic is set to join Ten’s show ‘I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here!
Tomic’s performance on Sunday means that he will miss his home grand slam for the first time since 2008, even though performances earlier in the week gave hope that a comeback could be on the cards for the fallen former Australian number one.
He routed Vincent Millot in 48 minutes and then steadied against American Tommy Paul in the second round, winning in a third set tiebreak.
But Tomic’s final singles outing at Melbourne Park began as a no-contest. He won just 11 points in the first set, looking nonplussed at the Italian’s procession of winners.
Moving poorly and with no intensity, Tomic simply gave away points on Sonego’s serve deemed out of reach.
It was a sorry sight, exacerbated by the scheduling of the 2011 Wimbledon quarter finalist and biggest name in the qualifying tournament, on court eight.
Out of nowhere, he lifted in the second set, maximising his effort in his own service games to push through. At 6-5, the Tomic grunt was back.
Tomic’s performance means that he will miss his home grand slam for the first time since 2008
Tomic responded to his loss to unknown Italian player Sonego by boasting about his riches
The crowd lifted with the Queenslander and he responded in the second-set tiebreak, fist-pumping his way back to the chair as he levelled the match.
Lorenzo showed signs of agitation for the first time in the third set, shaping to throw his racquet as he grappled with Tomic’s improved serve.
A rare break point for Tomic in the ninth game roused the crowd but the Italian responded with two sensational winners.
Lorenzo maintained his week-long streak of service holds, pushing the contest towards another another tiebreak.
At 5-4, Tomic double faulted to give away match points, pulling out a huge winner down the line to continue his resistance.
It couldn’t last, with Sonego closing out the match and richly celebrating his first main draw appearance at a grand slam.
Whether Tomic returns to the tour in a full-time capacity is yet to be made clear.