Melbourne - Troubled Bernard Tomic, who was denied a
wildcard to next week's Australian Open, says he didn't need the help anyway
and will tackle qualifying to make the main draw of his home Grand Slam.
Once a rising star, the 25-year-old's ranking has plunged to
142 in the world after a car-crash 2017 season in which he admitted he was
"bored" and not always giving 100 percent.
He missed out on an Australian Open wildcard from Tennis
Australia after failing to front up for the December playoff and also ignoring
an invitation to a training camp run by Lleyton Hewitt, his former mentor.
He must now win three sudden-death qualifying matches this
week to secure his Open entry for a 10th straight year.
"I'm not going to say anything (about not getting a
wildcard)," he told reporters after his first appearance of the year at
the Kooyong Classic exhibition, where he lost to Japan's world number 169
Yoshihito Nishioka in straight sets.
"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
Tomic has long had a fractious relationship with Tennis
Australia. Last year he admitted he had no love for the game, saying it is just
a job and he felt "trapped".
Australian Open director Craig Tiley in November offered him
"health and wellbeing" support to try and get his career back on
Tomic said the match against Nishioka was a good workout to
judge the state of his game.
"I haven't played that much tennis the last six months,
so anything is good for me now," he said.
"I just need more matches and get back to feeling
confident on the court."
The Australian added: "I know the last qualifiers I was
in at a Slam I made the quarters when I was 18 at Wimbledon, so I think for me
as long as you're playing well you can always believe in yourself and play well
"I'd love to qualify and do well but it's going to be
tough, there's a lot of good players in the qualifiers and you have to respect
everyone, so we'll see how it goes."