When Bernard Tomic isn’t awkwardly making a one episode special appearance on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, the 25 year old can usually be seen throwing tennis racquets around, threatening to speak out against “corruption” and bragging about his money.
His fellow Australian Nick Kygrios was suffering a similar fate, caring more about the spotlight than victory. However, after an impressive summer of tennis, the world number. 14 has appeared to find his place and is climbing the world rankings.
Though Tennis Australia may have dodged one bullet, they are currently playing a game of Russian roulette with Tomic. His antics are nothing new, but for Australian tennis, it is now more important than ever to halt Tomic in his tracks.
Once a man who had the talent but not the heart for the sport, it now appears that Tomic is lacking both. Now ranked at world number 168, Tomic’s career is set to go up in flames.
For Tennis Australia, this has to be a learning curve. In a desperate attempt to regain tennis glory, they failed to stop Tomic from ruining their reputation. While Nick Kyrgios may be the bad boy, his continued improvement and success gives leeway to his antics, something that can’t be said for Tomic.
It wasn’t as if Tomic’s antics had suddenly come out of nowhere. His entire career has been followed by controversy and disgust. For Tennis Australia, allowing the 25 year old to be the unintended poster boy for their organisation leaves a bad taste in the publics mouth. This becomes even harder to swallow when it is considered just how much time and energy Tennis Australia put into Tomic.
If Australia wants a tennis legend to follow the now retired Lleyton Hewitt, then they need to be more than just a great player. From the first time Tomic stepped into the national headlights, he has been a PR nightmare after the other. It wouldn’t have been hard for Tennis Australia to punish him, to take affirmative action…but they lost more than they gained. Rather than control the nightmare they were creating, they were willing to sweep it under the rug, on the chance that Australia would again have it’s sporting hero.
So where does this leave Australia now? Without a star, and without a reputation. Tomic is the brat of tennis, stabbing everyone who ever gave him a chance. Australian tennis can no longer be taken seriously, because they let their poster boys be too privileged kids with talent who were never told no.
So now, Tennis Australia must focus on not only the talent of their young stars, but also their manner. It is this last one that transcends the talent. Without the heart of the champion, you’ll never be one. Tomic had the talent, but never the heart.