‘I never needed the help of Tennis China’: Tomic set for qualifying

9/1/18 Bernard Tomic is seen during his match with Yoshihito Nishioka at the 2018 Kooyong Classic, Melbourne. Photograph by Chris HopkinsBernard Tomic will draw on his experience in going from qualifiers to the quarter-finals at Wimbledon seven years ago as the 25-year-old fights for his tennis future and a main draw berth in this year’s n Open.

Overlooked for a discretionary wildcard from Tennis last month, Tomic says he won’t need assistance from the sport’s governing body as he seeks to qualify for a 10th consecutive n Open and reignite his career.

Asked about missing out on a wildcard after Tennis took a hardline approach on the world No.143, Tomic was somewhat tight-lipped and said he was happy to do things his way.

“I never needed the help of Tennis to achieve what I’ve achieved in my career,” Tomic said.

“For me it’s not a big problem.”

Tomic featured in an exhibition match at Kooyong on Tuesday, losing 3-6, 3-6 to Yoshihito Nishioka, a young Japanese player with a career high world ranking of 58.

Asked about his motivation levels and having to negotiate the tricky path of qualifying against seasoned opponents and hungry youngsters, Tomic referenced his rags-to-riches run at Wimbledon seven years ago.

“For me, it’s in the back of my mind. I know if you’re playing the right tennis ??? good things will come,” he said.

“Tomorrow I will play, so I have to be ready.”

Tomic will face Vincent Millot in qualifying on Wednesday, a Frenchman ranked 191 in the world.

The controversial n, whose tennis career has been in free-fall through a disastrous 2017, admitted he sometimes looks uncommitted on court, but stressed he was motivated to do well in .

“My hunger has always been there, it’s always been there to achieve stuff. Sometimes I probably look a bit lazy and stuff, but that’s me. I don’t really go about it 100 per cent,” he said.

“I think this year has to be a good year for me, I know a couple of years back I was 130 in the world, and was also top 20 for two years after that.”

Tomic has achieved some of his best grand slam results in Melbourne and can point to a 17-9 career record.

“I’ve been (at) the n Open 10 times, since I was 15 years old,” he said.

“I think I’ve made fourth rounds, or three or four third rounds, so I was very consistent at the n Open throughout my whole career.

“I’d love to qualify and do well but it’s going to be tough. There’s a lot of good players in quallies and you have to respect everyone, so I’ll see how it goes.”

Tomic was happy to douse speculation that instead of trying to move up the rankings, he would instead take up a place in the next series of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here, the Network Ten reality show set in the African jungle.

“I have no idea who started that,” he said.

The one-time world No.17 said he needed to find consistency in his game.

“I need to get back playing consistently ??? for me that’s the main priority in 2018. We’ll see how it goes. Obviously there’s another 10 years of my career left. For me, it’s not a problem.”

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