Published On: Fri, Sep 15th, 2017

Kyrgios: Tomic 'has lost his way'

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It’s been another up-and-down year on the tennis court for enigmatic world No. 20 Nick Kyrgios, but off the court, Kyrgios says he’s only gained clarity on his priorities and sense of self.

“When my grandfather passed away recently, I pulled out of a few tournaments,” Kyrgios wrote in a personal essay on Players Voice this week. “I needed to be home. I love being home and being normal more than anything.”

That clarity isn’t something he can say for his fellow Aussie – and similarly inscrutable onetime prospect – Bernard Tomic. Kyrgios and Tomic have long occupied similar spaces in the men’s tennis discourse, mainly because of their shared nationality and the fact that both are seen to have performed below their potential to this point in their careers. But Kyrgios rejects the premise that he and Tomic have much in common.

“Bernie has lost his way,” Kyrgios wrote. “We were pretty good mates when I was younger. I obviously didn’t know the tennis tour too well back then and we were guys of similar age, representing the same country, on the road at many of the same tournaments.

“But a lot has changed since then. He needs to figure out what he wants to do. I can’t relate to anything he says anymore. He says one thing and he does the other. And he contradicts himself all the time.

“He says tennis doesn’t make him happy, that he doesn’t really like the game, yet he says the only thing that will really make him happy is winning a Grand Slam. It doesn’t make sense at all. … We’re a lot different.”

Tomic has long given the impression – whether through word or deed – that he’s mentally checked out of the game. This summer he drew flak, and a $15,000 fine, for admitting after a first-round Wimbledon loss that he’s unmotivated and bored by tennis. In that instance, though, he didn’t suggest that winning a Slam would make him happy.

“It’s my choice,” Tomic said. “I know I have to work hard. For sure I don’t do the right work. But I feel holding a trophy or doing well doesn’t satisfy me anymore. It’s not there. I couldn’t care less if I make a fourth-round US Open or I lose first round. To me, everything is the same.”

Tomic has also taken some potshots of his own at his countryman in the past, most notably accusing Kyrgios of faking an illness to get out of playing a Davis Cup tie in March of last year. Kyrgios is now preparing to lead Australia in its Davis Cup semifinal against Belgium this weekend. Tomic was left off the team.

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