As the Australian Open came to a spectacular close on Sunday, forgotten Aussie tennis star Bernard Tomic was a long way away, slugging it out in the final of the ITF M25 Chennai tournament
Tomic — who was the tournament’s No.1 seed — won his final in straight sets, defeating India’s Sasi Kumar Mukund 6-4, 7-6.
Out of the $25,000 total prize pool, Tomic took home $3600 (USD or $5400 AUS) for his title win, plus about 100 bucks more for his first-round loss in the doubles.
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His earnings for the tournament would have barely covered his flight and hotel expenses.
Meanwhile, back at the Australian Open, $86.5 million (AUD) was up for grabs with Sinner pocketing $3.15 million for his grand slam heroics.
To highlight how the mighty have fallen, if Tomic was in the Australian Open and was knocked out in the very first round, he would have received $120,000, more than 20 times his winning cheque for the title in Chennai.
Bernard Tomic with his winning trophy in Chennai. Credit: X
Tennis Australia — which has a strained relationship with the 31-year-old — decided to overlook Tomic for a wildcard to this year’s Australia Open
At the time, Australian Open boss Craig Tiley hinted that Tomic did not deserve the entry ticket.
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“It’s not so much about the relationship, but it’s about if they’re deserving,” Tiley said.
“The things we consider – the form of the player coming in, there is a factor looking at age in some instances because do you want to give a younger player the opportunity versus one who’s been the journeyman for a while?”
Tomic was once ranked as high as 17 in the world.
He is now ranked 290 but at one stage in 2022 had dipped below the 800 mark.
Only last week he reached the quarter-finals of the Brasilia Challenger and he is expected to play in Challenger tournaments in Bengaluru and Pune in the next month.
Tomic recently told the Sportstar website that he was “happy to be alive and to be playing tennis”.
“Everyone has a different journey,” he said.
“You can’t control destiny. You learn to respect life and the little things.
“If I did the right things at 20-24, I was not very professional. I worked extremely hard, but if I had done a few things right, who knows.”