They Said What? Oct. 31

by: Peter Bodo | October 31, 2012

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“So far as I am aware, there’s no suggestion Mr. Tomic has committed any offence of any kind. If there is, he certainly hasn’t been charged or even questioned about it. So I’m really not sure what all the ruckus is about.”—Chris Nyst, defense attorney for swooning ATP No. 49 Bernard Tomic

Nyst was talking about yet another Tomic kerfuffle, this one at an apartment complex on the Brisbane “glitter strip,” allegedly at the tail end of Tomic’s four-day blow-out to celebrate his 20th birthday.

Police apparently questioned Tomic after they were called to the Moroccan apartments at 5:30 am, to break up a fight that broke out between the Aussie and a friend. Obvious question: What kind of a fight is it that can last until police are called and arrive at the scene? We know Tomic doesn’t have much power, but sheesh. (Check out a video of the incident here.)
All kidding aside, just the fact that this happened is a pretty good sign that Tomic continues on a downward spiral; thank god he’s a tennis player, of a breed for whom the bar of badness is set very low (it’s one of the least heralded characteristics of tennis; the sport has no thugs, and no tennis player has ever been found like some rock star, face down and drowned in a pool of his own vomit).

Tomic has played horrible tennis since about Wimbledon, and at the U.S. Open he earned the nickname “Tomic the Tank Engine” after seemingly giving up during his second-round match with Andy Roddick.  Controversy seems to have followed him everywhere, some of it self-generated by his own admission that his attitude has been less than fully professional lately. He’s a big, lazy kid.

This latest incident comes just days before Tomic goes to court to answer charges of evading the police and “hooning,” which is Australian for showing off and generally being an irresponsible idiot while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle (in Tomic’s case, a hot, orange, eight-cylinder BMW M3—somehow I don’t think a car endorsement is coming Bernie’s way any time soon).

Tomic’s persecution complex is developing nicely, thank you very much. When police arrived on the scene at this latest incident, Tomic apparently dropped his own name (“Do you know who I am?”) and accused them of running a hate campaign against him, going all the way back to that Australia Day hooning incident.

I can only imagine what the scene is going to be like in a year, when Tomic celebrates his milestone 21st birthday...

“She has a lot of power and a big serve so it was a very tough match. When her first serve went in, I couldn’t do anything, so the whole time I was just hoping inside that she would miss!”—Kimiko Date-Krumm, on her first-round opponent in the Taipei WTA Ladies’ Open.

This had to have been the most unusual pairing of the year on the WTA. Date-Krumm, 42 years old, still ranked on the cusp of direct entry into Grand Slam events (No. 128) and seeded sixth in this Taipei Challenger, was talking about her match with Alexandra Stevenson. The Japanese veteran won the match, 6-4, 3-6, 7-6 (5).

Stevenson, you may remember, was an absolute sensation at Wimbledon in 1999, when she burst upon the scene as an 18-year-old and made it all the way to the semifinals. Her story exploded in an even bigger way when it was revealed that she’s the out-of-wedlock daughter of NBA Hall-of-Famer Julius “Dr. J.” Erving—a relation that was a well-kept secret until after her breakout performance. Stevenson didn’t even meet Erving until 2008.

Although she won only four Grand Slam matches in her career after that stunning run (she was the first qualifier ever to make the women’s semis at Wimbledon), her career-high singles ranking was a most respectable No. 18 (October 2002), and her serving prowess—she routinely served in the 120-plus M.P.H. range—pre-figured what we would later see from the Williams sisters. In fact, Stevenson won the 2002 doubles title in Leipzig, Germany, partnering Serena.

Stevenson is 31 now, presently ranked No. 495 and apparently still holding onto the big dream as a qualifier. But she’s no gym rat. Stevenson graduated from the University of Colorado in 2008 and is the only Grand Slam quarterfinalist to graduate from college while still playing professionally.

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