Bernard Tomic has declared in an Instagram hype video that “he’s back”, using the hate he’s copped in a controversial tennis career as fuel to reignite a flailing career.
Once as high as No.17 in the world and a Wimbledon quarter-finalist at 18, the 29-year-old is now ranked 254 in the world and won the last of his four career titles in 2018.
Having fallen out with Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, Tomic is at long odds to receive an Australian Open wildcard.
It means he’ll need to repeat his feats of earlier this year, when he won three straight qualifying matches and made the second round courtesy of a mid-match retirement, to feature at Melbourne Park in 2022.
#EXCLUSIVE: Gold Coast tennis prodigy Bernard Tomic who once dismissed media, saying he was off to “count (his) millions” reflects: “There are so many things I should not have said, should not have done.” @keenatGCB
— Gold Coast Bulletin (@GCBulletin) December 10, 2021
But if his social media montage is anything to go by, Tomic is prepared to earn his shot.
“I’ve had a lot of hate in my life. But I can’t give up. You don’t think I see the hate comments? It hurts,” he said.
“In the past I used to let it get to me and react out of stupidity. But now I’m using it as fuel.
“I’m back. I am … I’m hungry, and I’m ready. No one can stop me now, but me.”
Tomic’s decade-long fall from grace has featured repeatedly lacklustre, rapid losses that led pundits to question his effort and commitment.
As if to prove a point, Tomic is filmed in the Instagram video boxing and lifting weights with Fort Minor’s Remember the Name as his backing track.
“I’m training, I’m sweating, I’m pushing, I’m fired up,” he said.
“Whatever it takes to get back on top. Hard work pays off. I’ve put my blood sweat and tears into this sport.
“I have come back before. It’s time to set the record straight.”