Bernard Tomic has won $6.5 million in career prizemoney but his long road back continues at a local event in Brisbane where he has to supply his own food, drinks and towel.
Now ranked a lowly 226 in the world, Tomic was pushed to the limit by the little known Akira Santillan at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Wednesday.
Santillan, a Tokyo-born Australian player ranked 282 in the world, won the first set 7-6, with scores locked a 3-3, 30-all on his serve when the wet conditions forced the players off court six.
They returned, with Tomic winning the second set 6-3, before claiming the third set 7-5 in a lengthy contest that finished in an empty Pat Rafter Arena due to the indifferent conditions outside.
It was a far cry from the dizzying heights of Tomic’s career.
Bernard Tomic on the outside courts at the Queensland Tennis Centre. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan PeledSource:News Corp Australia
Tomic, now 28, was ranked as high as 17 in the world in January 2016, and reached the Wimbledon quarter-finals in 2011.
But he’s now playing the UTR Pro Tennis Series, a new domestic event worth $500,000 and comprising of tournaments in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth in which there is a maximum of one linesperson per match.
Players were also asked to bring their own food, drinks and towels for biosecurity reasons.
There were no ballboys or ballgirls in sight, with Tomic having to retrieve tennis balls from on and around the court throughout the match.
However, Tomic’s girlfriend, reality television star Vanessa Sierra, was there to support the bad boy of Australian tennis.
The pair, who went public about their relationship in November, have appeared together on Sierra’s OnlyFans account in what has been described as an adult scene.
Tomic turned down a request for a post-match interview.
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