Tomic Faces Australian Open Qualifying Wild Card Snub Amid Preference For Young Players

Tomic Faces Australian Open Qualifying Wild Card Snub Amid Preference For Young Players

by Nurein Ahmed

Bernard Tomic has enjoyed moderate success on the lower rungs of men's tennis in 2023, but that doesn't guarantee him a wild card at next month's Australian Open qualifying draw.

Tomic has done commendably to slash his ranking by over 500 spots within 12 months, but he is hovering just inside the Top 300 at the 287th spot. That is unlikely to earn him a main draw berth or qualifying spot at his home Slam, set for a historic Sunday start next month.

Tomic was once the biggest tennis prospect for Australian men when he made quite the splash on the junior tour, winning two Grand Slams at that level. But his career on the main tour was crippled with inconsistency, legal issues, and serious allegations of tanking matches.

Having been on the doorstep of a breakthrough before, Tomic finds himself in the uncharitable handbook of what could have been. The forgotten man of Australian tennis has been reduced to a journeyman these days; at least, that's how Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley sees it.

While speaking to reporters on Monday, Tiley stated that Tomic's frosty relationship with Tennis Australia would not limit whether he would miss out on a wild card for qualifying for Melbourne's biggest party of the summer.

Tomic's ranking doesn't warrant entry into the qualifying draw, and he will need a wild card to play in it. The Australian head honcho explained that wild cards would be issued based on meritocracy, and preference would be given to younger players.

"It’s not so much about the relationship, but it’s about if they’re deserving. The things we consider – the form of the player coming in, there is a factor looking at age in some instances because do you want to give a younger player the opportunity versus one who’s been the journeyman for a while? We haven’t made the (wildcard) decisions in qualifying yet, we’ve made quite a few decisions on the main draw which we’ll announce in the coming days."

Tiley as quoted in The West Australian


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