Bernard Tomic capitulates in latest defeat
TENNIS: Bernard Tomic has done it again.
The 24-year-old has bombed out of an ATP Tour event in Florida, continuing his disastrous start to the 2017 season.
Sixth-seed Tomic was sent packing from a tournament in the first round for a second consecutive week, after blowing a one-set to love lead over Belgian Steve Darcis to eventually lose 3-6 6-1 6-4.
Tomic had a 4-1 lead in the final set but the Belgian world No. 57, reeled off five straight games to take the match.
Defeat to the qualifier was disappointing enough for Tomic, but the loss was compounded by vision which appeared to show a lack of effort by the Australian.
Reachable returns were allowed to pass and other shots were limply sent back to his opponent. It looks like Tomic is leisurely going about his day on the practice court, rather than involved in the cauldron that is an ATP tour event.
There was no sign of injury from Tomic or an explanation as to why he capitulated despite looking in good shape early in the match.
The loss condemned the Australian world No. 31 to his third first round loss out of four tournaments in 2017, with his only wins coming in the first and second rounds of the Australian Open.
Tomic's meek performance was met with criticism from tennis fans on Twitter. Several questioned his attitude and passion for the game.
Tomic began the year with a straight-sets loss to Spanish veteran David Ferrer in Brisbane and last week lost to world No. 140 Barbadian Darian King 6-4 6-4 in the first round of the Memphis Open.
It wasn't all bad news for Tomic though. It was also announced he is playing doubles with Australian Open finalist Rafael Nadal in Indian Wells in March. And spending time with the Spanish great on the court could be just what he needs to get his season going.