Tomic courts controversy again with lewd rant at heckler

Tue Aug 30, 2016 8:18pm EDT
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By Simon Cambers

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Australian Bernard Tomic courted controversy yet again when he fired lewd comments toward a heckler at the U.S. Open during his first-round upset loss to Bosnia's Damir Dzumhur on Tuesday.

Television cameras and microphones caught Tomic directing a number of sexually explicit comments toward someone in the crowd during the first set of his 6-4 6-3 4-6 7-6(0) defeat to world number 72 Dzumhur.

The Australian, who was the 17th seed at the year's final grand slam, later apologized for his comments but suggested he was forced into it by the heckling he had received.

"He was just baiting me a bit," Tomic, who cold face a fine from the International Tennis Federation for his comments, told reporters. "I don't want to get into it. I apologize for what I said to him.

"He definitely baited me the whole set for me to say that. But I do apologies. If there were people around that heard, yeah, that's all I can say.

"I couldn’t care less. I apologies right now if anyone heard around, but I directed it specifically to him."

The incident was the latest in a long list of controversies to affect the world's 19th ranked tennis player.

Tomic drew heavy criticism in May following his exit from the Madrid Open when, on match point against Fabio Fognini, he held the racquet by the strings and did not offer a shot to the Italian's serve.   Continued...

Aug 30, 2016; New York, NY, USA; Bernard Tomic of Australia returns a shot to Damir Dzumhur of Bosnia and Herzegovina (not pictured) on day two of the 2016 U.S. Open tennis tournament at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports