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Tomic forced to apologise

Tue August 21, 2012 12:17am

BERNARD TOMIC'S use of his racquet as a gardening fork after his surprise first-round Wimbledon loss prompted more than just a $2500 fine and an official rebuke from the All England Club, he has been ordered by Tennis Australia to apologise for behaviour it deemed ''unacceptable''.

Repairs were needed after the 20th seed chopped up the court two grass near the service line as he walked to shake hands with his Belgian conqueror, David Goffin, and if the All England Club was not impressed, neither was Tennis Australia, which ensured the nation's top-ranked man conveyed his contrition to organisers.

''You just can't do that,'' said TA's director of tennis Craig Tiley. ''We certainly had words with Bernard. It was not acceptable, and something that we don't condone. We made him apologise to Wimbledon, and every time he walks onto court, we expect him to put in his best effort, too.

''We shouldn't be talking about behaviour to professional athletes. They're out there making a living and developing a … profile for themselves and, in many ways, we also have the attitude that they punish themselves when they do things that are not acceptable because they get scorned by the public as well.''

Tomic failed to defend his 2011 quarter-final points at Wimbledon and, after reaching a career-high ranking of 27 in June, won just one of his eight matches before reaching the third round last week in Cincinnati, where he lost 6-2, 6-4 to Roger Federer. The world No.43, will be unseeded at the US Open, which starts on Monday, and admitted in London he had not been working hard enough in the preceding months.

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