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Tomic’s Australian Open place in doubt


 

Originally published on: 16/12/10 12:39

Bernard Tomic has cast doubts over his place in the 128-strong field for the Australian Open after the Aussie teenager opted out of the wildcard play-offs.

The Stuttgart-born 18-year-old handed tournament director Craig Tiley with a certificate from his doctor, but the document did not specify whether the illness was long-term or just a passing virus.

Asked whether the world No.208 might have faked the illness in the hope of being handed a discretionary wildcard instead, Tiley replied: “If what you’re saying is correct, one, I’d be highly annoyed and, two, I’d have to talk to the team on what decision we would be taking.”

Tiley added that no player has been guaranteed a wildcard, except the play-off winners themselves.

“He [Tomic] would be considered [for a wildcard],” said Tiley. “He’s been considered all year, but if someone makes a decision to rely on the discretionary wildcard, I would never advise someone to do that.”

“This is why we have this event, because you can confirm your opportunity, you know you’ve got it and you can just prepare for your summer.”

And Tiley stressed that Tomic would not be wised to put his Australian Open hopes in the hands of others.

“If you don’t get in directly and you don’t win the play-off, then you have to rely on someone else making a decision on you,” he said.

“I know for a fact that each year it’s getting harder because there are more players, younger players, who are very good. So it’s going to start going to players who are doing the right thing.”

It’s not the first time the talented Tomic has received negative press. During last year’s Wimbledon, Tomic angered Lleyton Hewitt by refusing to practice with him, then at this year’s Australian Open he criticised tournament officials for scheduling him to play a late-night match.

Peter Luczak, who is the top seed in the play-offs, admitted to finding Tomic’s decision a little strange.

“You couldn’t have stopped me from playing this,” said Luczak after his second round victory over Luke Saville. “Twisted ankle or broken leg, I would have been out here trying.

“But you don’t know, he might have been severely ill.”

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