Tomic desperate to rebuild career after freak injury
OVERSHADOWED by the epic deeds of Ash Barty and Alex de Minaur, Bernard Tomic will attempt to rebuild a stalled career after a basketball accident wrecked the Queenslander's 2019 season.
The junior prodigy and grand slam quarter-finalist Tomic has slipped to No.185 in the rankings after suffering ligament damage in his left hand when playing basketball in Atlanta in July.
The former world No.17's only tournament appearance on home soil this summer is likely to be in Australian Open qualifying, which starts a week out from the January 20-February 2 grand slam.
"I tore ligaments in Atlanta playing ball," Tomic said.
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"Now I'm better, the last five-to-seven weeks.
"I played two events from August to December. I shouldn't have played Shanghai and Stockholm.
"I couldn't play properly since Cincinnati to the end of the year. Now my hand is better."
Tomic was unable to properly hit double-handed backhands because of the problem.
The 27-year-old will have to scrap through three qualifying rounds at Melbourne Park a year after rebuilding his ranking and a clash with Croat star Marin Cilic.
The Gold Coaster departed the 2019 Australian Open in a firestorm after a stoush with Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt turned personal with claims of threats of violence against the Wimbledon champion.
Tomic's season was subsequently filled with a string of first-round defeats and marred by an $80,000 fine at Wimbledon for failing to meet "required professional standards" in a brief first-round loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
And, just as he shaped to scramble out of the form slump by reaching the Atlanta quarter-finals where he lost to de Minaur, Tomic injured his hand.
Following the accident, Tomic won just three of nine matches to finish the season with a 7-15 record.
Tomic will be joined by a host of compatriots at Melbourne Park next month when a record prizemoney pool of $71 million is on offer.
Player compensation ranges from $20,000 for first-round qualifying losers to $4.12 million for each of the singles champions.