Bernard Tomic complained of illness on court in his match earlier this week
Australian ace Bernard Tomic is isolating after returning a positive Covid test result, 48 hours after an on-court outburst in which he bet a match umpire that he had come down with the illness.
Tomic confirmed on Thursday that he had the virus, telling local media that he felt “pretty sick.”
The news was unlikely to have come as a shock to the 29-year-old after he slumped to a lethargic Australian Open qualifying defeat to Russia’s Roman Safiullin on Tuesday.
During the second set Tomic was heard telling umpire Aline Da Rocha Nocinto that he was “sure” he would test positive for Covid in the coming days.
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“I’ll buy you dinner if I don’t test positive in three days, otherwise you buy me dinner,” he told the Brazilian official at a changeover during his 6-1 6-4 defeat.
He also complained about the supposedly lax testing at the tournament, claiming that “they’re allowing players to come on court with rapid tests in their room, come on… no official PCR testing.”
Tomic had been hoping to rejuvenate his career on home soil after slumping to a lowly ranking of 257 in the world, and later issued an Instagram message to fans thanking them for their support but explaining that he was feeling distinctly under the weather.
“Feeling really sick, I’m back in my hotel room,” wrote the former Wimbledon quarterfinalist.
“Just spoke to the doctors on site and they’ve asked me to isolate. They couldn’t treat me yet to avoid contact…
“I’ll do better next time. Very disappointed as I really wanted to make Aussies proud and perform well on my home turf.”
Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald after his positive test, Tomic added: “Due to the illness, I just couldn’t fire on all cylinders.
“As much as I tried, I didn’t have the energy to fight. I’m going to do everything it takes to get back to the top. I really appreciate everyone’s support.”
The German-born star has been one of tennis’ more controversial characters in recent years.
He was involved in a scandal ahead of the 2021 edition of the Australian Open when his then-girlfriend, Instagram influencer Vanessa Sierra, complained about their quarantine conditions at a Melbourne hotel.
Meanwhile, fans in Melbourne are still sweating on the participation of home favorite Nick Kyrgios this year, after he revealed earlier this week that he had tested positive for coronavirus.
Kyrgios, 26, was included in Thursday’s draw and is a potential second-round opponent for Russian world number two Daniil Medvedev – against whom the Australian boasts a 2-0 record.
Despite his visa saga dragging on, nine-time champion Novak Djokovic was also in the draw and will meet fellow Serb Miomir Kecmanovic in his first-round assignment.