Is Bernard Tomic having a laugh?
If his tennis career falls flat, (and at the rate he is going, it's bound to), the Aussie could always pursue a career in Hollywood. After all, Australia may be desperate for Tomic become the next big thing, but Tomic himself appears less interested. That is, less interested in tennis. Tomic's ambitions currently seem to lie with becoming as notorious as possible. Perhaps he is eventually working his way up to the category of being 'famous for being famous,' and embark on a life of celebrity parties, paid appearances and reality TV shows.
What else explains his recent behavior except a desire to be infamous?
Let's take a quick look at what was Tomic's 2012, including his latest scandal.
- He started the year with a bang at the Australian Open. He won over his home crowd as he progressed all the way to the fourth round, before falling to Roger Federer. He jumped up to 34 in the rankings, and Pat Rafter said his attitude had come a long way and been 'excellent over the summer.' So far, so good for Tomic.
- It all started to go pear shaped just a few days later. Tomic was pulled over in his horrendous bright orange BMW by police. Rather than accept his fine with grace, Tomic used the opportunity to ensure he was all over the news by claiming the police were picking on him. "They gave me three today – tickets – and one police officer says he wants to hit me and it’s not a good feeling." Tomic's father - the Michael Lohan of tennis - backed him up, saying "I can guarantee this police [officer] here is lying here, this is not fair."
- In March, Tomic announced he had split up with girlfriend, Donay Meijer, saying he is concentrating on tennis for the meantime. Meijer hinted at a less than amicable split, saying “I’m a bigger person, I’m just going to leave it there.”
- Tomic went into Wimbledon with quarter-final points to defend but fell in the first round to David Goffin, another youngster with talent to burn. Tomic didn't take the loss well, smashing his rackets so dramatically he was booed off court by the usually polite Wimbledon crowd. His tantrum caused damage to the court and he was fined the biggest fine of the tournament, $2500. Tomic admitted he felt 'lazy' in his match and hadn't been training hard over the last few months.
- Tomic came into the US Open quietly but managed to leave with a roar. Unfortunately, all the fuss was not over his tennis play, but instead talk centered around his 6-3 6-4 6-0 loss to Andy Roddick in the second round. Tomic was accused of tanking by the likes of John McEnroe and acquired the delightful nickname, 'Tomic the tank engine.' Rafter called his performance 'disgraceful.'
- Tomic is looking on course to finish the year with a bang. After a multi-day bender to celebrate his 20th birthday in October, police were called after a fight broke out between him and a male friend. Strangely enough, the fight started in the spa pool and was videotaped by one of the neighbours. The following day, Tomic denied it was anything serious before reminding tennis fans that he is still young.
- Tomic acquired a new car, this time a subtle yellow Ferrari. His classy number plates read, 'SINCITY.'
That brings us up to date with Tomic's latest scandal, a bizarre situation in which Tomic has denied that Tennis Australia and Pat Rafter axed him from the upcoming Davis Cup tie against Taiwan. While Craig Tiley, director of Tennis Australia, told the media Tomic had been dumped for all-round misbehaviour (see above list) and a lack of commitment, Tomic denies he was sacked altogether. "I was never meant to play that Davis Cup tie as well, I spoke to Pat as well, and I’m going to use that time for training as well, to prepare for other tournaments in America," Tomic told Channel 10. Media reports also suggest that Tomic will have his funding from Tennis Australia cut at the start of next year.
While the rest of the tennis world shakes their collective head, Australia grows more concerned that their tennis prodigy will never fulfill his potential. Sam Stosur, usually mild-mannered, even had questions for Tomic.
"What are you doing? Are you wanting to play tennis?," Stosur said. "If you are, then give it 100 per cent because you only get one crack at it. He’s going to have to decide what he wants to do and how he’s going to approach his career. Until that improves in a lot of people’s eyes, he’s going to have to deal with things like being dropped out of the Davis Cup team."
Tomic, who didn't bother to show up for the Newcombe Medal awards - Australia's most prestigious tennis awards, shows no signs of coming to grips with his predicament. Amongst constant excuses of being 'young', Tomic offered up what is possibly the quote of 2012:
"I’ve had a slippery slope the last year, and it’s changing me, and I’ll prove that I’m going to be the best player one day to play this game," he boldly stated.
It seems quite a stretch that this boy, (and until he grows up, he's exactly that) will overcome his troubles to become the greatest ever. At the moment he seems destined for a life of infamy, known only as a talented child star with a crazy parent who went off the rails when introduced to a life of fame and fortune.
Funny, it sounds just like Hollywood.