Aussie player Bernard Tomic has defended his “poor performance” at Wimbledon, claiming he was feeling “unwell” and “run down” in a match which saw him crash out of the tournament in less than an hour.
The 26-year-old came under fire last week after he lost to France’s Jo Wilfried-Tsonga in one of the shortest matches in history, going down 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 in just 58 minutes.
In a controversial decision, the tournament decided to fine the Australian young gun £45,000 (AU$81,000) for failing to “perform to a professional standard”.
Now almost a week later Tomic has spoken out about his supposed lack of enthusiasm for the game, explaining he wasn’t feeling at his best when he took to the court.
“From the start of the match I knew I had very little chance because I was feeling down but I thought I would go on court to try [because] it’s Wimbledon.”
Tomic added: “At the end of the day, my best efforts were super poor that day but it’s all I had.”
His comments come after Tsonga expressed his outrage at Tomic being wiped of his prize money, with the French player claiming Wimbledon’s decision put a dampener on his great performance in the first round match.
“It’s like what I did was not win,” he said, according to news.com.au. “It’s like I was just here and I just won because, they said, he didn’t play enough.”
Meanwhile fellow Aussie ‘bad boy’ Nick Kyrgios, who has found himself in hot water for his on-court antics during the tournament so far, claimed it was “outrageous” and “a little rough”.
The 24-year-old defended Tomic’s style of play and said just because he moves a little slower, doesn’t mean he’s not trying.
“I don’t agree with fining the guy all of his prize money,” the news outlet reports he said. “He earned his right to be in the draw. He played the whole year. He’s obviously winning enough to be at the most prestigious tournament in the world. To take all his prize money is outrageous.”
Their thoughts were echoed by American women’s player Sloane Stephens who claimed she’s not “100 per cent on board” with the tournament’s decision.
Meanwhile, others were in favour of the fine, with three-time Wimbledon champion Boris Becker saying it was a “painful” lesson for the tennis star which will hopefully motivate him in the future.
“We’ve been talking about it for a long time and I think it’s the right decision by Wimbledon to set the standard because now he knows he’s being watched and if he does it again, he’ll lose his prize money again,” he said, according to the news outlet.
Becker added: “It’s a painful lesson, it’s an expensive lesson but it’s the right thing to do.”