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Tomic can’t ‘find any motivation’ at Wimbledon

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LONDON (AP) After all the hard work and dedication it takes to get to Wimbledon, at least one player couldn’t be bothered with actually trying to win.

Bernard Tomic, a 24-year-old Australian who reached the quarterfinals at the All England Club in 2011, said Tuesday he “just couldn’t find any motivation” to compete this year.

“I felt a little bit bored out there,” Tomic said, “to be completely honest with you.”

Tomic was playing at Wimbledon for the eighth time. He lost to Mischa Zverev 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 on Court 14.

“I feel holding a trophy or, you know, doing well, it doesn’t satisfy me anymore,” Tomic said. “It’s not there. I couldn’t care less if I make a fourth-round U.S. Open or I lose (in the) first round. To me, everything is the same. I’m going to play another 10 years, and I know after my career I won’t have to work again.”

Tomic has won three titles in his career, the first in Sydney in 2013. He then won consecutive titles in Bogota, Colombia, in 2014 and 2015.

He has not advanced as far as the quarterfinals at a Grand Slam event since losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in 2011 – when at 18 he became the youngest man to reach the final eight at Wimbledon since Boris Becker defended his title in 1986.

Tomic, who reached a high of No. 17 in the world rankings in January 2016, entered Wimbledon ranked No. 59 after reaching the quarterfinals in Eastbourne, where he beat Zverev 6-3, 6-2 last week in the second round.

“Some weeks I play well and beat a bunch of players and do super well in tournaments … but now it’s a roller coaster, and I just can’t seem to find, like, the commitment to work hard, to enjoy (playing) and to lift trophies,” Tomic said.

Zverev broke Tomic late in the first set and again early in the second set, after which the Australian said he mentally “wasn’t there.” Tomic also admitted that when he called for a medical timeout, he did so to “try to break a bit of momentum” – although Zverev said later that he believed Tomic was injured.

“It kind of made it almost tougher for me, because I didn’t know what to expect, because between points he was walking slowly, and he definitely acted like something was wrong,” Zverev said. “But then he would still, you know – if the ball is within reach, he would still hit the ball hard, especially with the forehand, place it well, and hit a lot of winners.”

Zverev finished with 18 aces, compared to Tomic’s four. He also had 11 fewer unforced errors than Tomic, who committed 25.

“I feel like Bernie has been playing Wimbledon since he was about 11,” said Thanasi Kokkinakis, an Australian who lost to Juan Martin del Potro in his first-round match. “Maybe he’s bored. I’m not sure. I do know he’s skillful and hopefully he gets it together because he’s a good player.”

After acknowledging his lack of interest, Tomic was asked about whether he would give back his prize money because of his performance – a question he quickly shot down. He also disagreed with a suggestion that he didn’t give his best effort against Zverev.

“While I do feel a bit of guilt and I’m like, maybe I could have played four or five sets,” Tomic said, “in my opinion, he played well and I was just playing terrible and I just couldn’t find any rhythm, and he deserved to win.”

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

Nastase banned from Fed Cup and Davis Cup until 2019

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LONDON — Ilie Nastase has been banned from the Fed Cup and Davis Cup until 2019 because of his foul-mouthed comments and bad behavior as Romania’s captain during a Fed Cup match against Britain.

In addition to the ban, the International Tennis Federation said Friday the 1973 French Open champion will not be able to work in an official capacity for a further two years, until 2021.

The 71-year-old Nastase was also fined $10,000. He has three weeks to appeal the decision.

“Mr. Nastase made a comment about Serena Williams’s unborn child that was highly inappropriate and racially insensitive,” the ITF said.

Nastase also “made advances of a sexual nature towards Anne Keothavong, the captain of the Great Britain team” and “made abusive and threatening comments to the match officials and to members of the Great Britain team.”

Although he will have to sit out ITF events, the ban does not apply to Grand Slam, ATP or WTA tournaments, which are not under the governing body’s jurisdiction.

Nastase was provisionally suspended in April after he speculated about the skin color of the baby that Williams is expecting and for outbursts during a Fed Cup match between Romania and Britain.

He previously acknowledged making mistakes and having shortcomings, but stressed “the cause I fight for is tennis, the sport I really love, which I cannot separate from my life.”

As Fed Cup captain, Nastase hurled abuse at British player Johanna Konta, Keothavong and the umpire. The referee ejected Nastase.

Nastase, a former top-ranked player, was barred from the French Open and was not invited to the Royal Box at Wimbledon, where he was a two-time finalist.

More AP tennis coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis

World Cup of Tennis put on hold for at least a year

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LONDON–The International Tennis Federation is putting off its proposal for a World Cup of Tennis Finals for another year.

The ITF said last month it wanted to combine next year’s Davis Cup and Fed Cup finals into one event to raise the profile of the two national team competitions. But on Thursday, the governing body said it would not put the motion to a vote at its annual general meeting next month in Vietnam.

Other proposals, such as reducing the men’s matches to best-of-three sets and possibly skipping the final match of the series if it is already decided, will still go before member nations for ratification at the Aug. 4 meeting in Ho Chi Minh City.

“We promised change and are already delivering change with a significant series of reforms,” ITF President David Haggerty said in a statement. “Taking another year to build consensus around the World Cup of Tennis Finals will allow us to finalize an even stronger recommendation to the AGM.”

Last month, the ITF said it wanted to start staging the World Cup of Tennis in November 2018 in Geneva. The Swiss city was to host the event for three years at its 18,000-seat Palexpo.

The ITF said then that it had made the announcement of the host city well in advance in an effort to follow the successful model used by the Super Bowl and Champions League final.

But that has now been put on hold as the governing body tries to sell its idea to its voting members.

“This decision shows that we do not act unilaterally,” Haggerty said, “and are working with all our stakeholders to find the best solution for tennis.”

Haggerty also announced the creation of a World Cup of Tennis Finals task force. Board members Katrina Adams and Bernard Giudicelli have been appointed as co-chairs.

“The World Cup of Tennis Finals will unlock considerable new revenue for investing back into the sport through the ITF’s member nations,” Haggerty said. “Investment in the development of the next generation remains the priority of the ITF and its national associations.”