Tennis: Djoker warns Tomic to get serious

World No. 2 Andy Murray hits a forehand during his Madrid Open quarter-final win against Tomas Berdych yesterday. The Briton was most pleased with his second serve, which he believes has improved dramatically.
World No. 2 Andy Murray hits a forehand during his Madrid Open quarter-final win against Tomas Berdych yesterday. The Briton was most pleased with his second serve, which he believes has improved dramatically.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Top-ranked Serb warns bad boy Bernard to commit to tennis and think before he acts

MADRID • Bernard Tomic might claim to have millions in his bank account at age 23, but that does not impress world No. 1 Novak Djokovic very much.

The Serbian tennis star, who has a close training relationship with the Australian, has accused Tomic of failing to be committed to the sport after he gave up in the final point of his first-round match against Italian Fabio Fognini at the Madrid Open on Tuesday.

"I've seen what he has done. It's not right and I hope he realises that," Djokovic said. "Over the last couple of years I got to know him better and he's a good guy, but he's just failing to be committed to this sport as it is required.

"The sooner (he realises it) the better for him because he is still relatively young and he can definitely be a better player and better ranked than he is now.

"Everybody knows that. I think he knows that, but he doesn't seem to really get things the right way off the court. Many things that he says are not well-thought from his side. He gets emotional very quickly and things get out of context."

The Australian was criticised when he held his racket by the strings and pointed the handle at the net as he failed to offer a return on match point. He then inflamed the situation when he showed little remorse for his actions when quizzed on Wednesday.

"I don't care about that match point," he told News Corp Australia. "Would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10 million?"

One player who showed his commitment at the Madrid Open yesterday was defending champion Andy Murray, who was delighted with his improved second serve after cruising into the semi-finals with victory over Tomas Berdych.

The world No. 2 dropped just one point on his serve in the second set and eight in total in an impressive 6-3, 6-2 win, his first on clay over the Czech after three defeats.

"It was really good," said Murray, who will play either Rafael Nadal or Joao Sousa in the semi-final.

"There were periods in the first set where it was tough... I used my variety well and stepped up when I needed to."

About the increased speed on his second serve, he said: "There's a lot more spin on it and I can control the second better which frees me up to go for more on my first, which is obviously a big advantage.

"Every time I missed the first serve I was getting big bounces on the second serve and it's difficult to control it in these conditions. It's been a big improvement in my game."

Slovakia's Dominika Cibulkova booked her place in the women's final with a 6-1, 6-1 win over American qualifier Louisa Chirico.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2016, with the headline 'Djoker: Tomic, get serious'. Print Edition | Subscribe