Bernard Tomic is bored. It seems he's also disinterested, unenthusiastic and completely and utterly over it.
After he was bundled out of Wimbledon in the first round, he announced at his press conference that he couldn't care less if he made it through to the fourth round of the US Open -- the final Grand Slam of year -- or lost in the first round.
Neither could we. We, the fans, learnt some time ago not to invest too much time into barracking for Tomic, because more often than not, you'll be disappointed.
The problem for Tomic is that he's stopped 'playing.' Play, at its most pure, is supposed to be free, spontaneous and creative. It's supposed to be absorbing. Above all else it's supposed to be fun.
When was the last time you watched Tomic and saw a man having fun? A man who is free and utterly absorbed in the contest?
We've all been bored at work before. The irony is, when we're bored we often daydream of doing something else -- something we love, such as playing sport at the elite level.
To me he always seems preoccupied and even restrained, like something's holding him back. Tomic sees the game as his job and play as his labour. He said as much at his press conference, informing us that he plans to play elite tennis for another 10 years and then never need to work again.
And so, when we consider Tomic sees playing tennis as his high-paying, high-profile job, it's not as difficult to fathom how he could be bored. After all, we've all been bored at work before. The irony is, when we're bored we often daydream of doing something else -- something we love, such as playing sport at the elite level.
It is true that other tennis players, including Andre Agassi, have spoken about the grueling tour schedule, the loneliness and the battle of playing a sport day in, day out that they don't always love.
Yet, so many others don't feel this way.
You always get the sense from watching Federer and Nadal that they love what they do. You always got the sense that there was nowhere else in the world that Lleyton Hewitt would rather be than fighting it out on the tennis court.
And then there's Tomic, playing out time until he can retire and never have to work again.
So, Tomic needs to start 'playing' again. He needs to break off the shackles and recapture his child-like love for the game. He needs to get caught up in the contest and be free. He needs to play, not work.
Because unless he can do that he's got a decade of 'work' in front of him, racking up hundreds of thousands of dollars and seemingly hating every moment of it. He'll have a full bank balance, but an empty career.
If he actually cared he could have both.
Whatever the case, if he can't find that passion or love for the game, perhaps it's time he did something else that he actually cared about and enjoyed.
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