Former World No. 17 Bernard Tomic lost his cool in his first Australian Open qualifying match against Russia's Roman Safiullin on Tuesday. Tomic was heard complaining to the umpire during the second set that he felt he had COVID-19, and that he couldn't believe there were no official PCR tests being conducted on the players regularly.
Bernard Tomic is making his return to the tour after months of inactivity. The Australian recently said that "early success" got to his head, which he believes is one of the contributing factors to his slide down the rankings. Tomic also spoke about making a strong comeback on the tour and expressed his desire to break into the top 10.
However, on his return to the tour, the Aussie was slow to get off the blocks as he was routed 6-1 by Safiullin in the first set. The Aussie called for a medical time-out when he was down 1-0 in the opening set. Tomic said he was experiencing "physical difficulties".
Tomic continued to feel sick as the match went on, dragging one shot after another into the net. At one point in the second set, Tomic became increasingly worried that he had contracted COVID-19, following which he had a brief conversation with the umpire during a changeover.
Tomic proceeded to complain to the umpire that the Australian Open was not conducting regular PCR tests, relying on less accurate rapid antigen tests instead. The Aussie then claimed he was pretty sure the results would come back positive if he got tested.
Tomic posted an update on Instagram saying that doctors have asked him to isolate.
"I'm sure in the next two days I'll test positive, I'm telling you. I'll buy you dinner if I don't test positive in three days, otherwise, you buy me dinner (to the umpire). I cannot believe nobody is getting tested (...), no official PCR testing," Bernard Tomic told the umpire.
Bernard Tomic exits Australian Open with straight-sets loss to Roman Safiullin
Not long ago, Tomic had uploaded a video of himself taking an RAT on his Instagram stories. If Tomic's indictment is to be believed, there is perhaps no official PCR testing currently employed by Tennis Australia - the organizers of the Happy Slam.
It should be noted that Craig Tiley, CEO of Tennis Australia, recently praised his team for doing an "unbelievable job" in staging this year's Australian Open and following all the necessary health protocols.
Tomic eventually lost to Safiullin 6-1, 6-4. The Russian, for his part, steered clear of shaking the Aussie's hand after the match, resorting to a fist bump instead.