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When the Australian summer of tennis commences in a few weeks, all eyes will undoubtedly be on Bernard Tomic. This year, the German born Australian reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon and improved his ranking from 208 to 41, dethroning Lleyton Hewitt as the Australian No.1.
However, his career continues to be dogged by controversies which have dated back to his junior career. In case you’re not aware of these controversies, here is a timeline.
2008: Tomic walks off court while losing the second set against Marinko Matosevic in a Perth futures tournament. The ITF bans the Australian from playing professional tournaments for a month.
2008: The Gold Coast native insults compatriot Peter Luczak during practice in Chile. The right-hander made an unsolicited apology afterwards.
2009: Tomic rejects a practice invitation from Lleyton Hewitt during the middle Sunday of Wimbledon, citing swine flu. He allegedly requested a practice hit with former World No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero instead.
2010: To add fuel to the fire on the Hewitt snub, Tomic’s father, John suggested that “Lleyton must have had lots of wine during the new year” and failed to understand his son because of his Croatian heritage.
2010: John Tomic accuses Hewitt of influencing Australia’s decision to boycott its cup tie against India in 2009 to deny Tomic in being the nation’s youngest Davis Cup player.
2010: Over the scheduling of Tomic’s late night match against Marin Cilic at the Australian Open, John Tomic threatened tournament director Craig Tiley that he would quit Australia and have his son play for Croatia.
2011: Tomic is investigated by police after a string of dangerous driving complaints. The 19 year-old claims he was ‘victimised by jealous cop.’
John Tomic’s intervention on his son’s matters has damaged his reputation and draws parallels with Damir Dokic. As a Tomic fan, I hope his father understands that his son is old enough to make and express his decisions. The last thing the 19 year-old wants is distractions off court affecting his on court tennis.