Bernard Tomic needs a wild card in order to compete in Australian Open

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Tomic has been playing ATP Challenger events because of his low ranking. (AP)

Bernard Tomic will have to compete in the Australian Open wildcard playoff in order to have a shot at an Australian Open wild card.

The 25-year-old Australian has fallen to No. 143 in the rankings, but has been a consistent performer at Melbourne, reaching the second week three times. But his poor run, accompanied by attention-grabbing comments about lacking motivation, has prompted Tennis Australia officials to look for a show of interest from the former top 20 player.

"We all know the kind of tennis he can play, but he has to get back to that level and he also needs to commit to the sport as well," said Lleyton Hewitt, the Australian Davis Cup captain. "We won’t be making any more wild card decisions until we see what happens in the playoffs."

The winner of the playoffs receives a wild card into the Grand Slam event, but additional wild cards are usually awarded to Australians based on performance in the playoffs.

Tomic's representatives told Austalian media that Tomic did not know if he would compete in the playoffs but planned to play qualifying at Brisbane and the Australian Open.

An Australian Open wild card has been awarded to Thanasi Kokkinakis, who is returning from injury.

Tomic's ranking means he has also had to drop down from playing ATP events to tournaments at the challenger level.

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