Teenaged Tomic replaces Hewitt as latest Australian tennis villain

Friday, December 17, 2010

MELBOURNE - Teenager Bernard Tomic is fast replacing Lleyton Hewitt as a target of the media after opting out sick from the wildcard playoffs for next month’s Australian Open.

Tomic, who has courted previous controversies, reportedly felt that he would be awarded a wildcard entry in any case so called in sick for the playoff tournament at Melbourne Park.

A day or two later, however, he was seen training in Queensland in apparently good health.

Tomic, 18, ranked 208, has drawn fire from Melbourne’s Herald-Sun, with the newspaper slamming his “entitlement” attitude.

“Tennis stars are historically encouraged to boost themselves as the best things since Pat Cash’s headband,” the paper reported.

“Tomic appears to have assumed this sense of self-importance, even though he has not yet assumed the sporting status that would qualify him to.”

The newspaper said that while most sportsmen - cricketers and footballers in particular - would play with almost any injury, it is not that way for Tomic.

“It could have been a 24-hour thing, of course,” it said. “Sniffles can be like that.”

The report added that Tomic’s “attitude precedes the talent,” saying, “Some, like Hewitt, can get away with being obnoxious. You might not want Hewitt at your backyard barbecue - imagine the outburst if he was offered a burnt sausage - but he has won Grand Slams.”

The conclusion: “Let’s hope Tomic plays the Australian Open. The sport has enough drama queens, especially the teenage variety who have not grasped nuances of the grown-up world, such as grace and charm. But it could also use some new stars.”

The wildcard playoffs took a pause Friday with men’s and women’s semi-finals set for Saturday.

Filed under: Tennis

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