‘I wish I’d never got into tennis’, Bernard Tomic says
BERNARD Tomic's name has never been far from the headlines throughout his rollercoaster tennis career.
After failing to qualify for the Australian Open, his decision to join the cast for Channel 10's I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Outta Here caught everyone off guard.
He's come under fire on more than one occasion for giving less than 100 per cent on the court and he's admitted to not loving his sport.
"I don't love tennis but I like it a lot and it's something that I need to do and I need to do as best as I can," Tomic said.
Asked whether or not he regretted ever getting into tennis to begin with, Tomic's response was just as frank and quite simply, pretty stunning.
"Yeah, probably. The grind with everything and I mean taken, you know, 18 years already. It's stressful, it's not easy, it's a big job."
Heading into the jungle, Tomic is hoping to change the public perception people have of him, however even he doesn't know which side people are likely to see.
"I might get really angry," he said.
His anger and attitude are what he's renowned for thanks to countless run-ins with the media and endless spats on the court.
He and Nick Kyrgios have had a long-running love-hate relationship with the Australian public, but behind stellar play, Kyrgios has been able to change his image.
The two have been linked throughout their careers but Kyrgios seemed to distance himself from Tomic when he stated he had "lost his way".
But it seems as though despite the comments being thrown his way, the two have remained close friends.
"We're actually really good friends and we're the different people that people actually think we are, but the public only read about what the media puts and it's unfortunate that they target us because I think we're #1 targets," Tomic said.
"The only way for Australia to win Davis Cup is going to be with me and Nick playing"
Of course, Tomic being named in the Davis Cup side may be nothing more than a dream thanks to an ongoing feud between him and Tennis Australia.
"It's not that I don't want to play, it's I have problems with Tennis Australia and people don't know what's going on so it's tough for me to do that you know."
With his career at a crossroads, Tomic has a long journey back from where he currently is and where he hopes to end up.
Despite a current ranking of No. 168 in the world, he's hopeful of climbing back to his career best of No. 17.
Unfortunately for Tomic, if he's hoping to show the nation he is in fact a changed man, it's not just his ranking that requires plenty of work.
"I don't really think of what I'm going to say and I just always say it and then I really regret it and go maybe I shouldn't have said that," Tomic said.
One of the biggest issues he currently faces is his lack of judgment when dealing with the ever present media.
If he can show growth in both areas, he could win back the hearts of nation and go on to contend for Grand Slam titles for years to come.
Sadly, if he refuses to put in any effort to resurrect his image, he'll be left to count whatever money he has remaining once his career comes to a halt.