ATP Tour

Tomic tackles Aussie Open qualifying

Bernard Tomic (Getty Images)
Bernard Tomic (Getty Images)

Melbourne - Troubled Bernard Tomic, who was denied a wildcard to next week's Australian Open, says he didn't need the help anyway and will tackle qualifying to make the main draw of his home Grand Slam. 

Once a rising star, the 25-year-old's ranking has plunged to 142 in the world after a car-crash 2017 season in which he admitted he was "bored" and not always giving 100 percent. 

He missed out on an Australian Open wildcard from Tennis Australia after failing to front up for the December playoff and also ignoring an invitation to a training camp run by Lleyton Hewitt, his former mentor. 

He must now win three sudden-death qualifying matches this week to secure his Open entry for a 10th straight year. 

"I'm not going to say anything (about not getting a wildcard)," he told reporters after his first appearance of the year at the Kooyong Classic exhibition, where he lost to Japan's world number 169 Yoshihito Nishioka in straight sets. 

"It's their view and I've never needed the help of Tennis Australia to achieve what I've achieved in my career. For me, it's not a big problem." 

Tomic has long had a fractious relationship with Tennis Australia. Last year he admitted he had no love for the game, saying it is just a job and he felt "trapped". 

Australian Open director Craig Tiley in November offered him "health and wellbeing" support to try and get his career back on track. 

Tomic said the match against Nishioka was a good workout to judge the state of his game. 

"I haven't played that much tennis the last six months, so anything is good for me now," he said.

"I just need more matches and get back to feeling confident on the court." 

The Australian added: "I know the last qualifiers I was in at a Slam I made the quarters when I was 18 at Wimbledon, so I think for me as long as you're playing well you can always believe in yourself and play well from that. 

"I'd love to qualify and do well but it's going to be tough, there's a lot of good players in the qualifiers and you have to respect everyone, so we'll see how it goes."

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