Melbourne, Jan 14 (IANS) Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic will miss his home Grand Slam for the first time in a decade after failing to qualify on Sunday.
Tomic, 25, went down in his final qualifying match on Sunday, losing 1-6, 7-6, 4-6 to Italy’s Lorenzo Sonego, reports Xinhua news agency.
It will be the first time the controversial tennis player has missed the Australian Open since 2008, when he was just 15 years old, and the first Grand Slam he will miss in seven years.
He had to go through qualifying for the tournament after his ranking of 142 was not good enough to warrant automatic qualification and Tennis Australia declined to hand him a wildcard spot.
Tomic, who reached a career-high ranking of 17 after making the fourth round of the Australian Open, will now fall outside the top 150 in the world as he faces questions over his future in the sport.
Asked on Sunday whether the loss brought his career to a crossroads, Tomic responded sarcastically. “I just count money, that’s all I do. I count my millions,” he said. “You go do what I did. Bye bye.”
The failure to qualify is the latest in a string of controversies which have followed Tomic since he entered the national spotlight, including allegations of tanking matches and multiple incidents involving Australian police.
He told Australian media in July that he has never loved tennis and simply treated it as a job.
Tomic has slipped to Australia’s fifth-ranked male player behind Nick Kyrgios, to whom he has often been compared, Matthew Ebden, Jordan Thompson and John Millman with 18-year-old Alex de Minaur only a few places behind.