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Bernard Tomic booed during loss to Andy Murray at Sony Open

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Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic committed 37 unforced efforts in his loss to Andy Murray. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Will Bernard Tomic ever be able to shake his “Tomic the Tank Engine” nickname? Possibly, but he has a long way to go to earn back the benefit of the doubt from fans.

The 20-year-old Aussie faced Andy Murray on Saturday in a much-anticipated second-round match at the Sony Open. But instead of watching two high tennis IQs engaged in an entertaining game of chess, the Miami spectators were barely able to work on their tans as Tomic lost 6-3, 6-1 in less than an hour.

The match started competitively, with Tomic having early chances to break. But after Murray held for 2-2 after a marathon game, Tomic won only two more games in the match. The unforced errors came quickly, as Tomic’s movement, patience and focus seemed to disappear. By the end, Tomic had hit 37 unforced errors in a 56-minute match.

“Bernie obviously trying to break the record for unforced errors in 2 sets?” broadcaster and coach Darren Cahill tweeted. Murray’s mother, Judy, made reference on Twitter to the Tank Engine nickname.

The crowd voiced its displeasure over Tomic’s performance. The whistles began when Tomic didn’t make a move to return two serves from Murray and went down 1-4 in the second set. The dissatisfaction grew even louder after Tomic’s poor effort in the next game led to a Murray break.

Here’s video of the last two points of that sixth game that ended with a weak drop-shot attempt from Tomic that landed in the net.

Andy Murray offered some sympathy, cautioning against reading too much into a player’s body language.

“The one thing I would say is that if you aren’t used to playing in these conditions, it is extremely hot and tough to play,” Murray said. “It is tough when you’re going behind and making quite a lot of mistakes. I have done it before when my head has gone down and you still want to win, but it doesn’t always appear that way. So I don’t know. The crowd, they’re free to do whatever they want. They pay the money and they can greet players however they would like.”

Tomic told reporters after the match that he was sick and had trouble breathing during the match. He returned a few hours later to play doubles with Lleyton Hewitt. The Aussie pair lost to Marcelo Melo and Ivan Dodig 7-5, 6-3.

  • Published On Mar 25, 2013
  • 6 comments
    IdaAnnaTaylor
    IdaAnnaTaylor

    Yeah, Tomic has legitimately earned his reputation.  He's a real disappointment.

    ReymondoLeon
    ReymondoLeon

    Everyone - especially the Australian media - needs to stop giving Tomic attention for his apathy and poor behavior. Like a child who will do anything for attention, this is now his pattern.Aussies need to face up to the fact that he's not their next great hope and let him live out the journeyman career he's destined for because of his mental fragility. 

    badgernation74
    badgernation74

    I laughed out loud at Murray giving Tomic a pass because of the hot conditions. It's true that some of the foreign players (Kvitova) have trouble with heat in Miami. An Australian though? Come on now.

    MichaelChacon
    MichaelChacon

    If you play, you're not sick. If you're sick, you don't play. Frikkin' Tank Engine.

    David149
    David149

     @badgernation74

     I hear what you are saying Badger, but Australians are used to more of a dry heat.  In Miami it is so humid its like being in a pot of boiling water, so, Tomic probably is truly not used to those kinds of conditions...  With that said.  I think poor Bernard was raised by a tyrannical father who has turned him into a spoiled egomaniac that thinks he is above putting in the hard yards week in and week out because he and his father think of him as tennis royalty.  Very off-putting to say the least.  Bernard and his father are not likeable characters.  But we need villains for our heroes to defeat...

    Smeefy
    Smeefy

     @David149  @badgernation74 I live in Louisiana and it's true that it can be hard to breathe on the tennis court with extremely high heat and humidity.  HOWEVER, Tomic is supposed to be a professional athlete.  It's not like he faltered at the end of a grueling 5 set match, he was on court for less than an hour.  Furthermore, it's Miami -- it's no secret that it's going to be hot and humid.  One can train to prepare for these conditions -- all of the others players do.  One more instance of Tomic's unwillingness to put in the work it takes to play professional tennis.