Bernard Tomic says he and fellow fiery Australian Nick Kyrgios will always be “just a bit crazy” and people should get used to it. The controversial pair have frequently fallen foul of tennis authorities and have a love-hate relationship with the public.
Tomic said they were unlikely to change but he had been working hard on his mental game ahead of the first Grand Slam of the year at Melbourne Park next week. “Obviously we are just a bit crazy,” he told Sydney Daily Telegraph.
“So it’s tough to control that. Honestly speaking, sometimes we do lose it. But we do have to remain mentally strong and focused on the main thing, which is playing tennis, doing well and trying to achieve our target. But for sure, we’re not the calmest people.”
Volatile Kyrgios, nursing a knee injury ahead of the Australian Open, is on the comeback trail from a ban for ‘lack of best efforts’ during a notorious match in Shanghai last year. Known for his on-court tantrums, he is ranked 14 in the world and considered a danger in the opening Grand Slam of the year, if his knee holds up and he can keep control of his combustible temperament.
Tomic has also been plagued by controversy, making headlines last year when he turned his racquet the wrong way to face a match point against Fabio Fognini in Madrid. He later told his post-match news conference: “I don’t care about that match point. Would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10mn?”
Now ranked 27, Tomic admitted putting on too much weight during the off-season and was “fat” during a disappointing first-round loss to David Ferrer at the Brisbane International last week.
But he claims to have since lost five kilograms. “I was about 99 kilos, as opposed to 94,” he said. “One more kilo and I could have went boxing. I mean, I am tall and big, but 99 kilos is too much. So yes, you can say last week I was fat. Then in one week I trained well and did the right things and I’m feeling pretty good right now.”
Romanian Carpen gets
life ban for match-fixing
Romanian Alexandru-Daniel Carpen has been banned from playing professional tennis for life after admitting to match-fixing, the Tennis Integrity Unit (TIU) said on Tuesday. “A TIU investigation found that in October 2013 (Carpen) made a corrupt approach to another player, seeking his involvement in match-fixing activity in return for payment,” the TIU said in a statement.
The 30-year-old, who reached a career-high singles ranking of 1,088 in November 2007 and 274 in doubles in 2015, admitted the charge in 2015 but the TIU said the sanction was decided only after consideration of all circumstances in the case.
McEnroe doesn’t expect
Kerber to be no. 1 for long
Former tennis great John McEnroe doesn’t expect Germany’s Angelique Kerber to top the women’s rankings for a long time, citing the big challenges that come with the world number one position. Kerber dethroned Serena Williams in September 2016 after winning the US Open, and is also the title holder at the Australian Open starting next week.
“I never thought that Kerber would be number one. She really surprised me,” the multiple grand slam winner and former number one McEnroe said. “Defending the number one position is a completely different,” he added. “Now Kerber is the one being chased... But I don’t expect her to be number one for a long time.”
McEnroe lauded her fighting spirit but also cited a weak serve and her small size as the reason for his scepticism. Kerber is yet to shine this year, going out in the Brisbane quarter-finals and losing her first match in Sydney this week.
McEnroe said that several others had the class to take the place at the top but doubted whether the veteran and 21-time Grand Slam winner Serena Williams would do so. “Does she still have the fire and hunger? I believe she can win one or grand slams, no problem, and break Steffi Graf’s record (of 22 grand slams). That’s only a matter of time. But I have concerns whether Serena can be consistent at top level for a year,” he said.
Looking at the men’s side, McEnroe said that Briton Andy Murray was in a similar situation as Kerber after climbing to the top late last season past Novak Djokovic, who beat Murray in the weekend Doha final.
“He must come to terms with his new role. I am curious whether he can do that. He put so much energy into becoming number one last year... Now the focus is bigger, and Novak Djokovic will do everything to get back on the throne,” McEnroe said.
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