Tomic can’t ‘find any motivation’ at Wimbledon

Getty Images
0 Comments

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

U.S. sweeps Uzbekistan, advances to group stage in Davis Cup

Getty Images
1 Comment

The United States swept its way into the group stage of the Davis Cup Finals, getting the winning point in a 4-0 victory over Uzbekistan from the doubles team of Rajeev Ram and Austin Krajicek.

They beat Sergey Fomin and Sanjar Fayziev 6-2, 6-4, after Tommy Paul and Mackenzie McDonald had won singles matches in Tashkent.

Ram is No. 3 in the ATP Tour doubles rankings and partnered with Joe Salisbury to win the last two U.S. Open men’s doubles titles. But the Americans opted not to use Ram last year in the final round, when they dropped the doubles match in a 2-1 defeat against Italy in the quarterfinals.

Krajicek was making his Davis Cup debut, having reached No. 9 in the doubles rankings late last year.

“They had five great days of preparation, and as anticipated they came out really sharp and got the early break in the first set. And after that it was like two freight trains, there was no stopping them,” interim captain David Nainkin said.

Denis Kudla then beat Amir Milushev 6-4, 6-4.

The winners of the 12 qualifiers being held this weekend advance to the Davis Cup Finals group stage in September, along with reigning champion Canada, 2022 runner-up Australia and wild-card recipients Italy and Spain.

Eight teams will advance to the closing matches of the Davis Cup Finals scheduled for Nov. 21-26 in Malaga, Spain.

In other matches:

France 3, Hungary 2: On indoor hard courts in Tatabanya, Hungary, Ugo Humbert won it for the French with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Fabian Marozsan. Adrian Mannarino had forced the deciding match by beating Marton Fucsovics 7-6 (6), 6-2.

Serbia 4, Norway 0: On indoor hard courts in Oslo, the visitors, playing without top-ranked Novak Djokovic, put away the match when Filip Krajinovic and Nikola Cacic edged Viktor Durasovic and Herman Hoeyeraal 6-4, 3-6, 6-3. Hamad Medjedovic then outlasted Durasovic 6-4, 6-7, 10-4.

Sweden 3, Bosnia 1: On indoor hard courts in Stockholm, Mikael Ymer sent the hosts through by beating Damir Dzumhur 6-1, 1-6, 6-3.

Lesia Tsurenko to face Zhu Lin in Thailand Open final

Getty Images
1 Comment

HUA HIN, Thailand — Lesia Tsurenko of Ukraine reached her first final in four years after the top-seeded Bianca Andreescu retired with a shoulder injury during their semifinal match at the Thailand Open.

Tsurenko, in search of her fifth WTA title, was leading the 2019 U.S. Open champion 7-5, 4-0 when the Canadian stopped playing.

The former world No. 23 fought from 3-5 down to take the first set and reeled off eight straight games before Andreescu retired with a right shoulder problem.

“Bianca is such an amazing player. She is capable of hitting all kinds of shots and gave so much trouble today,” said the 33-year-old Tsurenko, now ranked 136th. “But I was just fighting and I told myself positive things that I can do it. Unfortunately, she had to retire.”

The Ukrainian last lifted a WTA trophy in Acapulco in 2018 and hasn’t been to a final since Brisbane in 2019.

She will face Zhu Lin of China in the final.

“She had some good wins in the Australian Open,” Tsurenko said. “She is one of the dangerous players in this tournament. She is going to give a good fight.”

In the all-Chinese semifinal earlier, Zhu benefited from a barrage of unforced errors from Wang Xinyu and prevailed 6-2, 6-4 for her first WTA final.

The world No. 54 player, who reached the last 16 at the Australian Open in January, relied on her solid baseline game to force errors.

“It was very windy, so I tried to be patient and keep my first serves in,” said the 29-year-old Zhu, who will team up with Wang in the doubles final against Hao-Ching Chan and Fang-Hsien Wu of Taiwan.