‘Cringe-worthy’ Tomic’s savage swipe at pundit
Bernard Tomic has hit back at scathing criticism of where his stuttering career has reached after becoming the latest local hope to bomb out of the Australian Open.
Australian tennis great and commentator John Fitzgerald labelled Tomic "cringe-worthy" in his straight sets defeat to 11th seed Canadian Denis Shapovalov and questioned whether Tomic would ever be seen back at an Australian Open.
Not one to take a backwards step, Tomic bit back in his post-match press conference when asked if such a statement was "harsh".
"I mean, of course it is," Tomic said.
"But, you know, he's probably the worst commentator I've ever seen in my life as well."
A one-time world No. 17, Tomic was again scheduled off of Broadway by Australian Open organisers.
He took the first serve of his match against Shapovalov at 4.14pm on Court 3 at Melbourne Park, in front of an initial crowd of less than 200 people which gave as much support to the Canadian as it did to the struggling Australian.
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Playing with strapping on his right knee, Tomic was outworked, outclassed and at times looked disinterested in an opening set which Shapovalov took just 23 minutes to win 6-1.
Tomic found some form and put up a fight in the second set, frustrating Shapovalov who had to battle hard to hold serve.
However, Shapovalov proved too strong in the end as he comfortably triumphed 6-1, 6-3, 6-2.
Fitzgerald said Tomic was "not fulfilling" his talent and was "not committing to getting your body in the right shape".
But Tomic argued he could not have done much more against a quality opponent who played "unbelievable".
"I tried to get some rhythm, but I just felt pretty bad the whole match," Tomic said.
"There's no excuse for me. What is he, 10 or 11 in the world? The guy just played too good. It's just confidence.
"When you're there, focused, at the top. I remember myself playing being in the top 30, top 20, you come into matches, you're confident over opponents.
"That's what he had from the start. From the first ball, from the first game, from the first 15 minutes, he didn't miss a ball."
Originally published as 'Cringe-worthy' Tomic's savage swipe at pundit