Former Wimbledon quarterfinalist Bernard Tomic will not make an appearance at the Australia Open this season after he was left off the wildcard entrants to the grand slam’s qualifying.
Tomic has at least made it to qualifying for the Australian major since 2008, despite his ranking going into free fall in recent years.
The controversial 30-year-old Queenslander’s ranking dropped to world No. 825 in August last year but he has rebounded somewhat, moving to No. 462 after three Futures tournament wins and a final to end last season.
But despite being the 22nd ranked Aussie male currently on the tour, Tomic was overlooked for a series of youngsters, more than half of the nine ranked lower than Tomic.
19-year-old’s James McCabe (No. 406) and Philip Sekulic (No. 543), 18-year-old’s Derek Pham (No. 1017), Jeremy Jin (No. 990), Edward Winter (No. 672) and American Bruno Kuzuhara (No. 636), who won the Australia Open boys title last year, all earned qualifying wildcards.
They’ll be joined by 21-year-olds Dane Sweeny (No. 249) and Tristan Schoolkate (No. 367) and 23-year-old Adam Walton (No. 432).
Tomic, who reportedly didn’t apply for a wildcard but could still have been awarded one, told First Serve he would use the snub as motivation.
“I’m not expecting any favours. I’m going to prove my point and earn my way,” Tomic said on his way to Doha.
“I understand Tennis Australia has made their decision. It’s good to see the young tennis players getting an opportunity. I’m at a place in my life where I don’t complain anymore. I’m focused and I’ve been training hard. I’ll let my tennis do the talking. Last quarter of 2022, I won three tournaments and made four finals.
“This year is my year, if no one is going to help support me, I’ll get back to top 100 on my own. My headspace is very different. I’m in a positive environment, good people around me, I’m in a healthy, happy relationship. Now all there is to do, is get back to where I belong.”
It’s hardly surprising Tennis Australia have been looking to distance themselves from the former World No. 17 after he blasted Australian legend, Davis Cup captain and one of the key wildcard judges Lleyton Hewitt.
“No one likes him any more,” Tomic said after a first-round Open exit in 2019.
“We have a lot of issues that not a lot of players are happy about. We all know who those players are. Myself, (Thanasi) Kokkinakis, (Nick) Kyrgios.”
Last season he said he’d “win Wimbledon” before the end of his career despite having lost in straight sets in qualifying to then-World No. 146 Roman Safiullin 6-1 6-4.
Days later he revealed he had contracted Covid.
He was then mostly known for his ongoing social media feud with Kyrgios — who made the Wimbledon final and had the season of his life in 2022.