Tomic says he’ll ‘test positive in two days’ during Australian Open qualifier
MELBOURNE – An ailing Bernard Tomic told the chair umpire during his Australian Open qualifying match on Tuesday that he would test positive for COVID-19 within days and later posted on social media that he had been told to isolate.
The mercurial Australian had his Melbourne Park hopes dashed after a 6-1 6-4 defeat by Russia’s Roman Safiullin.
Down 2-1 in the second set, Tomic told Brazilian chair umpire Aline Da Rocha Nocinto during the changeover that he was struggling physically before going on to criticize COVID-19 testing protocols ahead of the Jan. 17-30 Grand Slam.
“For sure in the next two days I’ll test positive, I’m telling you,” Tomic told the official.
“I’ll buy you dinner if I don’t test positive in three days. Otherwise, you buy me dinner.
“I can’t believe nobody is getting tested. They’re allowing players to come onto the court with rapid tests in their room … come on. No official PCR testing.”
The 29-year-old was unavailable to speak to the media after Tuesday’s match.
“Feeling really sick, I’m now back in my hotel room,” Tomic said in a statement on social media. “Just spoke to the doctors on site and they’ve asked me to isolate. They couldn’t treat me yet to avoid contact.”
Tomic was backed to become a Grand Slam contender during his junior years and had raised expectations in his home country by reaching the 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finals at the age of 18.
He reached a career-high ranking of 17 in 2016 but clashes with tennis officialdom, an infamous reality TV appearance and boasts about making a fortune from tennis without trying hard marked his decline to a current ranking of 257.
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