I’m not saying Bernard Tomic is immature, but…
Not for a minute am I suggesting young Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic is immature. That said, it’d be better if he took his anger out on his bathtime rubber duckie instead of the immaculate turf of Wimbledon.
Seriously, far be it for a balding suburban slob like me to suggest a 19 year old isn’t entitled to show some raw emotion. It’s just that, well, you’d love to see some of that aggression channelled into smashing his opponents instead of his own racquets.
Look, clearly Tomic has grown up of late. Everyone around him will tell you that almost as as eagerly as young Bernie himself. And y’know, you’d almost be inclined to believe him if it wasn’t so damned obvious he’s wearing a huge nappy under those oversized shorts.
The guy’s still a kid. I get that. He doesn’t have to be as gracious as that late blooming Aussie tennis statesman Lleyton Hewitt. All the same, it’d be great if if he didn’t make his career a replay of the Hewitt early years in HD with surround sound.
Tomic has beaten some pretty big guns, and made the Wimbledon quarters last year aged 18, so he’s clearly growing up fast. So there’s no reason to worry that he just got beaten by some Belgian dude who looks like a 14 year old Michael J Fox.
Hey, nobody’s perfect. We all make mistakes when we’re young. And give Bernie credit. He did a Michael Clarke and gave up that troublesome sports car. Apparently he traded it in for Stinky the Matchbox garbage truck.
Tomic’s game has matured too, if by “matured” you mean hitting the same wristy forehand slap shot every point, regardless of whether attack or defence is needed in the rally. As Wally Masur said overnight, “his game is fine.” Hey, Wally would know.
Masur also said, after interviewing Tomic a couple of days ago: “he actually surprised me just how on top of so many things he was. I mean he’s obviously a bit of a thinker.”
Oh, Tomic is a thinker, all right. He thinks an awful lot of himself.
Let’s not judge the guy too harshly. Time is still on his side. Roger Federer didn’t win his first Grand Slam tournament till he was almost 22, and he was a petulant thing in his early years.
Today, we should chalk Bernard Tomic’s surprising loss down to one of those small, inevitable speed humps on the road to the maturity he is clearly so close to achieving.
In a memorable magazine interview in 2007, the 14 year old Tomic said: “I’m halfway there with the mind of Sampras. I’ve already got the heart of Lleyton.
Spot on, young Bernie. Now, allow me to throw a quick quote back at you. It’s from the American author and columnist Dave Barry, and it goes like this:
“You can only be young once. But you can always be immature.”
And speaking of immaturity… Twitter: @antsharwood
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