In his first tournament since having double-hip surgery in February, Bernard Tomic lost to Jarkko Nieminen 6-0, 6-1 on Thursday in just 28 minutes and 20 seconds at the Sony Open -- the shortest recorded match in ATP history. Cue all the "Tomic the Tank Engine" jokes that have been sitting on the back-burner while Tomic has been injured.
"I felt like I did the best that I could and I'm happy with the way I'm coming back," Tomic said. "Hopefully in a little bit of time I can get back to 100 percent. It's not easy but I'm trying, doing everything, doing my best to get there."
Tomic's trainer, Allistair McCaw, defended Tomic's decision to play, blaming the ATP's system of penalizing players for late withdrawals. As a direct entry, the 74th-ranked Tomic would have been penalized points for skipping an ATP Masters 1000. If Tomic knew his rehabilitation process wasn't going to get him fit enough to compete in Miami, though, he could have avoided any fines and withdrawn three weeks ago. Once he was in the draw, he still could have withdrawn because of injury and taken the fine, which ranges from $2,000 to $8,000, based on the number of times he's withdrawn before.
For Tomic's 28 minutes of trouble, which included one set break and four changeovers for a total of eight minutes of resting time, the 21-year-old Australian pocketed $9,165. That's $9,165 for winning 13 points in about 20 minutes of actual tennis. Nice work if you can get it.
Apart from the cash grab, which seems like chump change for a guy who calls Monte Carlo home, did Tomic really not have anything better to do with 28 minutes and 20 seconds of his day?
Here's what we would have suggested instead:
Listen to The Beatles' Eight Days a Week eight times in a row: Meta! If there were an eighth day of the week, I would suggest to hold your listening party then. But really, any given day will do.
Watch the latest episode of Brooklyn Nine-Nine: It's hilarious and it lasts only 22 minutes, meaning you have six additional minutes to pause the show for bathroom breaks and a slow walk to the kitchen for some water. Gotta stay hydrated!
Click through a search of "Tomic" on Etsy: First ignore the "did you mean 'toxic'" prompt at the top of the page. That's a bit rude, Etsy. Then browse some handcrafted artistry that somehow, weirdly, relates to your name.
Watch Beyonce's Pretty Hurts four times: That's 28 minutes and 20 seconds well spent. Think of it next time you hit the club to see the ladies. Catch up on current events: Might I suggest this New York Times piece on overhauling the SAT (according to Longreads, it should take you no more than 29 minutes to read), a test you will never have to take because you (1) are Australian and (2) are already able to earn more than $9,000 for fewer than 30 minutes of work.