MADRID • Money appears to be more important than a top-10 ranking for Bernard Tomic.
The Australian tennis player had said at the start of the year that his intention was to break into the highest echelon of the men's singles game this season.
But, after his attitude was questioned on Wednesday at the Madrid Open, where he "tanked" his first-round match against Italian Fabio Fognini by holding his racket by the strings and not attempting a return at match point, he told Gold Coast Bulletin journalist Ryan Keen: "I don't care about that match point. Would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10 million?"
A win would have secured the 23-year-old an extra 25 ranking points. The world No. 22, who has made over US$4 million (S$5.43 million) in career earnings, could have earned 1,000 points if he had won the tournament.
His action was condemned by tennis pundits and fans worldwide.
Tennis Australia and his management group declined to comment.
NOT WORTH IT
I don't care about that match point. Would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10 million?
BERNARD TOMIC, the world No. 22, on giving up on the final point of his Madrid Open first-round match
His Olympic chances appear to have taken a hit. In January he had said that he would like to play in August's Rio Olympics and the Australian team is set to be announced on July 4.
But Australian team chef de mission Kitty Chiller said she wants only tennis players and golfers who "want to be in the team''.
Yesterday, defending champion and world No. 2 Andy Murray eased into the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open with a 6-4, 6-2 win over France's Gilles Simon.
"At the beginning of the match I didn't return that well," said the Scot, who will face Czech Tomas Berdych in the last eight. "But after that I started to get some rhythm on my return and I was able to dictate a lot of points. I served well."
In the women's tournament, American qualifier Louisa Chirico, 19, continued her fairy-tale run to reach the semi-finals. The world No. 130 beat Australian Daria Gavrilova 7-6 (7-1), 6-2 to reach her first WTA semi-final.
ATP MADRID OPEN
Q-finals: StarHub Ch201, 6pm& tomorrow, 3.30am