It hasn’t been a good week for the top two Australian ranked men’s players, after both Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic exited Wimbledon in the first round. But, whilst Kyrgios was unfortunate to succumb to injury, Tomic fell in straight sets to Mischa Zverev and hit the headlines for his post-match interview, which has cost him a lot of money!
Last week we brought you some of the most memorable Wimbledon moments, but here we will rundown the five biggest controversies that have engulfed the Aussie pair, starting with that interview.
‘Bored’ Tomic crashes out
As mentioned, despite his early exit, Bernard Tomic has had the whole of tennis talking because of his post-match interview after defeat to Zverev in just 84 minutes. The 24-year old told stunned reporters by saying that he ‘felt a little bit bored, to be completely honest with you’ and also revealed he has found it tough to motivate himself, even though he acknowledged Wimbledon was one of the biggest tournaments in the world.
His attitude irked fans, and also sponsors. His racket sponsor, Head, dropped him, whilst the International Tennis Federation issued him with an £11,600 fine, their second largest fine since the early 90s.
Tomic dropped for lack of effort
To say there have been constant questions over the desire and application of Tomic would be an understatement. Even as a junior his funding was cut by Tennis Australia due to a lack of effort, and problems would arise with the same organisation in 2012.
The captain of the Australian Davis Cup team, Pat Rafter, decided to suspend Tomic from the team for his poor effort and attitude. He stated; “As a team, we just felt that part of the commitment that we make to athletes and athletes make to the sport is they always put 100 per cent commitment and effort in competing for their country”.
Kyrgios accused of not playing against Gasquet
Tomic might seem an angel when he’s compared to Aussie no.1 Nick Kyrgios. The Canberra-born player is only 22 years old but has hit the headlines plenty of times throughout his short career. A memorable moment was against Richard Gasquet in 2015, where he didn’t seem to try and return the Frenchman’s serve.
A half-hearted effort was met by bemusement from the crowd, whilst that turned to jeers after he appeared to deliberately turn the opposite way on the next point. After losing the game, Kyrgios then got into a debate with the umpire about changing his socks, suggesting the bigger players have preferential treatment with time between points! It resulted in a fine of over $15,000 for unsportsmanlike conduct and swearing, and his Wimbledon was over.
Similar performance in Shanghai gets three-month ban
Once again, Kyrgios’ effort was questioned at the Shanghai Masters, as he appeared to put zero effort into his own serve this time. Then, during another point he walked off court as opponent Mischa Zverev was returning the ball. This lack of effort clearly annoyed the crowd, which brought further problems for the Aussie.
After criticism from a spectator, he told one to ‘sit down, shut up and watch’, whilst the umpire was forced to remind him that ‘this is a professional tournament’. To which Kyrgios responded; ‘can you call time so I can finish this match and go home’! Inevitably, big fines were coming his way. In total he was fined over $50,000 for his catalogue of misdemeanours and handed a three-month ban, which could be reduced if he decided to visit a sports psychologist.
Kyrgios comments rile Wawrinka
Yet, arguably the worst incident throughout his career occurred during a Rogers Cup match against Stan Wawrinka in Montreal. During the match, microphones appeared to pick up the Australian saying ‘Kokkinakis banged your girlfriend. Sorry to tell you that, mate.’ He was referring to Australian tennis player Thanassi Kokkinakis and Donna Vekic, the partner of Wawrinka, who plays on the women’s circuit.
Unsurprisingly, the comment angered the Swiss player, who described it as ‘unacceptable’ and admitted confronting Krygios in the locker room. An apology arrived shortly after the match, but it didn’t prevent him from a $13,127 fine and several suspended penalties.
Given that Tomic and Kyrgios are still very young, they’ve both certainly managed to make a name for themselves, even if it isn’t always for their undoubted talent. Although they cross the line, they bring excitement and unpredictability to tennis, much like our Lucky Nugget Casino Centre Court slot!