Boos were unfair, I had an injured groin, says Tomic

Tue Jan 14, 2014 11:50pm EST
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(Reuters) - Being booed and jeered by the crowd after withdrawing from his Australian Open match against Rafa Nadal was 'pretty unfair', Bernard Tomic said on Wednesday, adding he could have faced a four month injury absence had he continued playing.

The 21-year-old Australian, who has been criticized in the past for "tanking" - or deliberately not playing to his full ability during matches - withdrew from his highly anticipated first round clash with top seed Nadal on Tuesday with a groin injury after he lost the first set 6-4.

Tomic, who had appeared uncomfortable from the outset under the lights at Rod Laver Arena, was booed for his decision to call it quits even though he had raised his hand and mouthed 'sorry' to the packed center court.

"I felt like I got booed a little bit on court, which was pretty unfair," Tomic told reporters on Wednesday. "I think I was misunderstood.

"Obviously they thought I was shaking Rafa's hand because he's too good and I'm forfeiting the match because I can't play against him.

"So I needed to say it was my leg. I don't think they quite understood that it was my leg."

Tomic said scans on Wednesday had revealed a torn groin tendon that would keep him out for up to three weeks.

Medical advice suggested had he continued against the world number one on Tuesday he could have faced up to four months on the sideline.

"It's just a small one (tear). It's not that big," he said.   Continued...

Bernard Tomic of Australia waves to the crowd after retiring from his men's singles match against Rafael Nadal of Spain (L) at the Australian Open 2014 tennis tournament in Melbourne January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic