UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
Beyond the Baseline

Bernard Tomic admits he didn't try his best in loss at Shanghai Masters

Bernard Tomic won only eight points in the second set of his loss to Florian Mayer. (Peter Parks/AFP/Getty Images)

There will come a day when an article written after Bernard Tomic loses a match doesn't contain the word "tank." Today is not that day.

The 19-year-old Australian won a mere eight points in the second set of a 6-4, 6-0 loss to Florian Mayer in the first round of the Shanghai Masters on Tuesday. As reported by The Age, the 43rd-ranked Tomic admitted to being mentally fatigued from a long, pressure-packed year and told reporters that he did not go all-out in the second set of the 46-minute match:

Could Bernard Tomic declare that he had given a 100 per cent effort in his first-round match in Shanghai yesterday? No. ''Today I gave about 85 per cent,'' he said.

...

Tomic's candour is to be admired, even if the denouement of his latest on-court performance was not.

''Today I gave 100 per cent in the first set,'' he said. ''I felt in the second set, my 100 per cent wasn't even close to where it should be. That's where I think mentally … the mental skill is one of my biggest problems.''

Asked earlier if he had been injured in the second set, Tomic said: ''Mentally I was, that's for sure.''

Tomic's comments come a little more than a month after he was criticized for a lack of effort in a 6-3, 6-4, 6-0 loss to Andy Roddick in the second round of the U.S. Open. Australia Davis Cup captain Patrick Rafter called the performance "disgraceful." ESPN's John McEnroe said during the match that Tomic was tanking the final set, leading to a testy exchange between the player and a reporter afterward. Tomic was later cleared of tanking, but the incident left an indelible mark on the youngster's reputation.

I hope this was merely a communication failure rather than Tomic's copping to yet another poor effort. His comments could just as easily be read to mean he tried but couldn't get himself out of third gear in the second set. That's not necessarily a lack of effort, but a failure to execute because of fatigue. That's not particularly newsworthy. It happens all the time, especially during this part of the season.

This is where Tomic's past behavior comes back to haunt him. He lost the benefit of doubt with his display in New York. It could be a while until he gets it back.

More Beyond the Baseline

Close

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 4 easy steps:

  1. Click the Chrome menu on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Bookmarks.
  3. Select Bookmark manager.
  4. Locate your current Sports Illustrated bookmark, click the Organize menu, then select Edit. You can now easily update the web address of your Sports Illustrated bookmark.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 2 easy steps:

  1. Click the Safari bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. This will open the Bookmarks Bar. In the Bookmarks Bar, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Address field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.

To continue enjoying content from the most trusted name is sports, please be sure to update your current bookmark.

Just follow these 3 easy steps:

  1. Click the Firefox bookmark manager on the browser toolbar.
  2. Select Show All Bookmarks.
  3. This will open the library window. In the Library window, select your Sports Illustrated bookmark and manually edit the Location field.

    Our updated web address is http://www.si.com.
Don't Show This Again