Former world number one Andy Roddick has led a chorus of criticism lobbed at Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic following his remarks at Australian Open qualifying.
Tomic, once ranked number 17 in the world but now languishing at 142nd, lost his qualifier against Italian world number 218 Lorenzo Sonego 6-1, 6-7, 6-4 to miss out on a place at the Australian Open.
It is the first grand slam event Tomic, 25, has missed in seven years, with his ranking to plummet even further. But asked whether this represented a career crossroads for him, he responded sarcastically to journalists.
“I just count money, that’s all I do. I count my millions,” he said.
“You go do what I did [on court]. Bye bye.
“You go make 13-14 million [dollars]. Good luck guys.”
That verbal barb, it’s safe to say, did not go down well with former players or the tennis-watching public.
Maybe stop for a second and think of the millions you’ve left on the table …. https://t.co/t27GA4WHyG
— andyroddick (@andyroddick) January 14, 2018
Roddick, who won the 2003 US Open and reached three Wimbledon finals, said he had no sympathy for Tomic and his “self inflicted” career trajectory.
“Maybe stop for a second and think of the millions you’ve left on the table,” Roddick said on Twitter.
The reaction on social media was as expected.
Young Bernard Tomic once boasted he would have the “heart of Hewitt, the groundstrokes of Federer, the mind of Sampras”. He achieved none of that. But he did manage to develop the personality of a complete dickhead.
— Anthony Sharwood (@antsharwood) January 14, 2018
I reckon Bernard Tomic should pay someone else to count his millions, so he can practice playing tennis.
— Lindsay McDowens (@doctormcdougall) January 14, 2018
Tomorrow's back: "I just count my money, that's all I do. I count my millions. You go make $13-14 million." Bernard Tomic's quote after being bundled out of Australian Open qualifying speaks for itself. pic.twitter.com/U4Hug50oiY
— Courier Mail Sport (@cmail_sport) January 14, 2018
According to the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP), Tomic has earned $US5.2 million in prize money ($6.689 million) to date, on top of any sponsorship and endorsement earnings.
Tomic had not received a wildcard spot for the Open from Tennis Australia (TA), prompting Tomic to say he had never needed TA’s help in his career.
“I’m not going to say anything [about not getting a wildcard],” he said before qualifiers.
“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.”
No stranger to controversy, Tomic — who has been dropped from Australia’s Davis Cup squad — was fined $US15,000 last year at Wimbledon for saying he was “bored” during his defeat to Germany’s Mischa Zverev.
Questions over his temperament and mentality were also asked when he held his racquet in reverse while defending a match point at the 2016 Madrid Open, while he was also criticised for ruling himself out of the Rio 2016 Olympics due to a “busy schedule”.