<span class="articleLocation”>Bernard Tomic ruled himself out of representing Australia at the Rio Olympics in August due to his “extremely busy” playing schedule.
Tomic, who was warned by Australia’s Olympic chef de mission Kitty Chiller he was among a group of athletes whose behavior was being monitored to judge their suitability for the Rio team, will instead play an ATP tournament in Mexico.
“With a heavy sense of regret, I have made the difficult decision to not play with the Australian tennis team as they pursue an Olympic medal in Rio,” the world number 22 said in a statement.
“I have always proudly represented my country in Davis Cup and given my all when wearing the green and gold.
“But on the basis of my extremely busy playing schedule and my own personal circumstances, I am regrettably unable to commit to this year’s tournament.”
Tomic drew heavy criticism last week following his exit from the Madrid Open when, on match point against Fabio Fognini, he held the racquet by the strings and did not offer a shot to the Italian’s serve.
The 23-year-old responded to the criticism by telling News Corp., “I don’t care about that match point. Would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10 million?”
The response was described as “appalling” by Chiller and the criticism intensified when he pulled out of his opening match in Rome after just eight minutes, citing illness.
Tomic’s short career has been tinged with controversy and he was dubbed ‘Tomic the Tank Engine’ after accusations he ‘tanked’ — or failed to try his best — in a loss to Andy Roddick at the 2012 U.S. Open.
He also holds the record for the quickest loss at a Masters-level tournament on the ATP Tour after being smashed 6-0 6-1 in 28 minutes by Finn Jarkko Nieminen in Miami in 2014.
Tomic also came under fire in the leadup to this year’s Australian Open for retiring during his Sydney International quarter-final after telling the chair umpire his mind was on the year’s first grand slam.
He later claimed to have suffered food poisoning.
Tomic whipped up more controversy during Australia’s Davis Cup match against the United States in March when he criticized team mate Nick Kyrgios for withdrawing due to illness.
He was also arrested and charged by Miami police for trespassing last year after holding a party in his room at a local hotel, though the charges were later dropped.
(Writing by Peter Rutherford, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
Source: Reuters Sports