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Controversial tennis star Tomic regrets '$10 million' outburst

The player is trying to repair his public image as he prepares for the second round of the French Open.

Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic.
Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic.

MALIGNED AUSTRALIAN TENNIS player Bernard Tomic regrets his controversial comments made at the Madrid Open earlier in May.

Tomic caused a stir in Madrid after seemingly tanking on match point as he held the head of his racket instead of the handle, telling a reporter “would you care if you were 23 and worth over $10million?”.

The world number 22, who divides opinion Down Under, was warned by Australian Olympic team chef de mission Kitty Chiller about his “appalling” behaviour before eventually ruling himself out of Rio 2016.

Now back on the clay courts at the French Open in Paris, Tomic admits he got it wrong as the three-time ATP Tour winner attempts to repair his public image.

“I would love to say I have $10 million US, but maybe (it is) $10 million Australian,” Tomic joked.

“I shouldn’t have said that, but that’s in the past. That was my fault.

I was just in that moment. I just said that and I was talking to my friends about some things, so it just sort of came out.

“I struggle mentally a lot, so that’s one area I need to improve,” Tomic, through to the second round at Roland Garros – added. “For me, it’s been a big turnaround (but) I have to get better.

“You’re not going to get to top five, top three in the world or 10 if you (always) have distractions and stuff.

“I don’t need to train much to be where I am, 30, 20 in the world.

I always have the talent (but) if I want to get more in my career and life, I have to be 100% in everything.”

The ’$10 million’ comment is not the first time Tomic has caused controversy — at the 2012 Miami Masters, he made a request for his father to be ejected from the stands, saying: “I know he’s my father but he’s annoying me.”

In addition, last year, he was arrested in Miami and charged with resisting arrest and trespassing after refusing to leave his hotel penthouse, though the charges were subsequently dropped, with the incident coming a week after he had been dropped from Australia’s Davis Cup team for derogatory comments made about officials including Pat Rafter.

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