MADRID (AP) Novak Djokovic has criticized Bernard Tomic for giving up on match point in a loss at the Madrid Open this week, saying the young Australian player is lacking commitment to the sport.
Tomic turned his racket around when facing three match points against Fabio Fognini in a first-round match on Tuesday. With the handle facing forward, he only watched as the ball bounced for an ace.
Tomic later reportedly told an Australian newspaper he didn't care because at 23 he was already worth $10 million.
The top-ranked Djokovic said he hopes Tomic, who lost 6-2, 6-4, realizes that what he did at match point was not right.
''The sooner the better for him, because he is still relatively young and he can definitely be a better player and better ranked than he is now,'' Djokovic said after reaching the quarterfinals in Madrid. ''Everybody knows that. He knows that. But he doesn't seem to really get things the right way off the court.''
Djokovic said he has known the 22nd-ranked Tomic for ''quite a long time,'' and hopes ''for his sake that he's going to do better.''
''Over the last couple of years I got to know him better and he's a good guy, he's a good person. But he's just failing to be committed to this sport as it is required.''
According to the Australian newspaper Gold Coast Bulletin, Tomic said: ''I don't care about that match point - would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10 million?''
Djokovic said he didn't hear Tomic's remarks but said it would not be a wise thing to say.
''Just many things that he says are not well thought from his side. He gets emotional very quickly and things get out of context. Unfortunately it fires back right at him,'' Djokovic said. ''He's starting to feel too much probably pressure outside as well, that he has to deliver.''
Tomic, who earlier this year reached his highest ranking at 17th, was a finalist in Acapulco in February, losing to Dominic Thiem in three sets. Since then, he's failed to advance past the third round in four straight tournaments.
''It's a learning curve for him and for any young player. I've felt it on my own skin many times where I've done things that were not right at that time, and said some things that I was regretting,'' Djokovic said. ''After that, you learn. You get wiser. You mature through those times. Nobody is perfect. We are all part of this life where it's just a big lesson and school for all of us.''
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