London. Bernard Tomic admits he has paid the price for getting lazy as the Australian teenger’s slump continued with a surprise 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 defeat against Belgian wildcard David Goffin in the Wimbledon first round on Tuesday.
Tomic, the 20th seed, arrived at the All England Club, where he was a quarterfinalist last year, in the midst of a woeful run which had seen him fail to get past the second round in 11 of his last 12 tournaments.
The 19-year-old’s misery showed no signs of relenting on Court Two as Tomic failed to emulate last year’s impressive run.
He shocked higher ranked stars Robin Soderling and Nikolay Davydenko en route to becoming the youngest player since Boris Becker in 1986 to reach the last eight and even took a set off eventual champion Novak Djokovic before finally bowing out.
“I have sort of slacked off a little bit and look what it’s costing me. It’s a lack of concentration, not working hard,” admitted Tomic, who is likely to fall out of the top 30 as a result of his poor result.
“In the last eight, nine weeks I’ve lost a lot of first and second rounds when my quality of tennis should be getting to a lot of semi-finals, finals or even winning tournaments.
“It’s just strange. I’ve gotten to where I have won very easily and now you let the foot off the pedal and it’s costing you. It’s something I’ll learn from.
“It’s a good thing what’s actually happened here. I’ll wake up and get back to the way I was playing.
“For once I can relax and play good tennis and get back to that training mode to get me to the top 15, 20 at the end of the year.”
After taking the first set easily, Tomic was out-played by rising star Goffin, who took a set off Roger Federer before losing to the 16-time Grand Slam champion in the fourth round of the French Open recently.
Tomic grew increasingly frustrated as Goffin refused to be overawed on his Wimbledon debut.
The Australian picked up a code violation warning for unsportsmanlike conduct after furiously smashing his racquet when things began to go wrong and hammered another racquet into the turf after Goffin wrapped up the victory.
After such a show of anger, Tomic admits he needs to work on taming his temper if he is to fulfill his promise.
“I’m not normally like that, but it’s a sign of relief when you smash a racquet. I couldn’t control myself because I was playing pretty tight and defensive,” he said.
“It’s a mental skill you need to have. You look at the guys in the top three. Mentally they’re the most strong.
“Obviously you are going to get times when you’re young when things won’t go your way. One day I will find this balance. I’m still young, but I’ve got to find it eventually.
“It’s hard to see what I did last year and then lose in the first round this time.
“It probably wasn’t what he was doing, it was what was going on with me throughout my head. I wasn’t thinking straight at that time and I allowed him back into the match.”