Kids These Days: Djokovic Urges Tomic To Grow Up

Bernard Tomic has continued to push Lleyton Hewitt for the title of most divisive figures in Australian tennis. While Hewitt’s dogged competitive nature has rubbed some fans the wrong way and painted him as a bit of an arrogant shit, Tomic’s laconic nature has led to accusations of tanking and lack of commitment. His play even led perennial nice guy and Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter to hand Tomic a very public roasting in the aftermath of his US Open capitulation to Andy Roddick.

And it appears ‘no ticker’ Tomic is at it again, feeding speculation that he’s been giving up the ghost making with some bizarre post match admissions in the wake of his 6-4, 6-0 trouncing to Germany’s Florian Mayer in the first round of the Shanghai Masters. He admitted only giving “about 85%” and adding:

Today I gave 100 percent in the first set. I felt in the second set, my 100 percent wasn’t even close to where it should be. This year has been a little bit different. It’s been defending points, defending stuff. I started feeling the pressure. I wasn’t prone to pressure growing up, 16, 17. Now, I think it’s starting to hit me the last five, six months. It’s costing me. It’s been a massive road this year. I didn’t plan my schedule as I should have and it’s cost me a lot of matches that I probably should have won.

While it’s refreshing that Tomic is willing to speak is mind to the media, he would probably benefit form a more guarded approach- in the short term anyway. As per Tomic’s comments, it’s entirely reasonable to assume that his assertion that he was playing at 85% is not in reference his effort but his effectiveness as fatigue after a long year takes its toll but in the aftermath of Tomic’s US open ‘Tankgate’ the jury divided.

Having experienced the same pressures of being a young tennis ace, 25 year-old 5-times grand slam winner Novak Djokovic believes Tomic has the physical ability but needs to grow mentally if he is to fulfil his potential

To be honest, I don’t think it’s a great answer but he will learn. I know him well, maybe more than other guys. I know he’s talented. He truly loves the sport and has high ambitions. It’s good to be confident, but also be modest, be aware of your abilities and also try to have results before you start speaking in the media (about) different things.

It’s always difficult at that age to try to figure out what you need to do in order to improve, in order to get better. He’s still very young,” said the 25-year-old five-times grand slam winner. But I believe that with time he’s going to get necessary experience to understand himself better and the life that he has.
via Fox Sport

Essentially Tomic is still a teen. He has a bogan-ish taste in cars and he has a knack of speaking before he thinks. Sounds typically teenaged to me. If we can forgive our footballers for their sins, Todd Carney, I’m looking at you, then surely we can loosen the leash on our most promising tennis prospect who has a habit of saying dumb things in press conferences. Like this…

(Head to 4:40 for Tomic’s response to tanking allegations. Sure there was a lot less door slamming and “You just don’t get me!” than most teens but it wasn’t one of his best moments nonetheless)

Photo: Clive Brunskill via Getty