Bernard Tomic Rants About Australian Open COVID-19 Protocols Mid-Match

Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic was visibly struggling from the very beginning of his match against Roman Safiullin in the opening round of the 2022 Australian Open qualifying event. After three games, the 29-year-old requested the visit of a physio and was seen checking his pulse multiple times. Tomic dropped the first set in just 23 minutes, double-faulting six times. He was barely moving and clearly not feeling well.

On the first changeover in the second set, Tomic started a rant in which he criticized the Australian Open COVID-19 protocols (video below): “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, we’re allowing players to come on the court with rapid tests in their room, come on. No official PCR testing.”

The Australian was able to keep it a lot closer in the second set, winning four games and extending the match to just under an hour.

Tomic thought that his sickness and poor performance are the first symptoms of a COVID-19 infection. He tested negative in a rapid antigen test he did himself before the match though and was allowed to compete on that basis. If Tomic does indeed test positive, Safiullin’s ability to compete in the rest of the tournament might also be compromised.

The Australian has a history of tanking matches and is widely recognized as someone who hasn’t realized his full potential due to lacking motivation. Tomic recently promised to give it his all again and claimed that he should be able to break the top 100 soon and potentially the top 10 in two or three years. It seems like this time it wasn’t his own mind that stopped him from having a chance to qualify for his home Grand Slam, where he reached the fourth round on three separate occasions (2012, 2015, 2016).

Main Photo from Getty.