Bernie's back, and sounding almost like a different player. The 25-year-old Tomic won his first round of qualifying at the Australian Open in 48 minutes, having not even confirmed his participation until the day before the event began.
Tomic has fallen to No. 142 in the rankings and the Australian player was not given a wild card by Tennis Australia following his decision not to show up for the wild card playoffs.
"I never needed the help of Tennis Australia to achieve what I've achieved in my career," he said, with familiar antagonism towards his national federation.
But the former Top 20 player, who spoke repeatedly about motivation problems in 2017, is now emphasizing his commitment to the game.
Speaking at the Kooyong exhibition event that was his first on-court appearance of the season, Tomic said his "hunger has always been there."
"It's always been there to achieve stuff. Sometimes I probably look a bit lazy and stuff, but that's me. I don't really go about it 100 percent," he said the day before playing qualifying.
Tomic also spoke of still having a long career in front of him, and previous comebacks he had made while playing on tour.
"I think this year has to be a good year for me, I know a couple of years back I was 130 in the world, and was also Top 20 for two years after that," he said.
Though noting there was a tough qualifying field at the Australian Open, he also recalled that during 2011 he had qualified and reached the quarterfinals at Wimbledon, when he was a teenager.
"I need to get back playing consistently... for me that's the main priority," he said.
Players are required to win three rounds to qualify for the Australian Open.
JANUARY: THIS MONTH ON TENNIS CHANNEL PLUS
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Starting with January … gear up for the Australian Open with 6 LIVE tournaments in the lead up to AO, exclusively on Tennis Channel Plus
- Mubadala – Abu Dhabi
- Hopman Cup
- ATP Sydney
- Fast 4 Sydney
- World Tennis Channel – Adelaide
- Australian Open Qualifying
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