(Reuters) - Bernard Tomic is set to sit out the Australian Open after Tennis Australia (TA) decided not to award him a wildcard to the main draw, the organizers said on Thursday.
TA boss and Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley also confirmed the 25-year-old Queenslander had rejected a chance to compete in next week’s qualifying event at Melbourne Park.
“We made the offer, (Davis Cup captain) Lleyton (Hewitt) did, we said ‘We’d just like you to play the Australian Open wildcard playoff and if you just make yourself available, you give yourself a good chance to get in’,” Tiley told the Herald Sun.
“Now to get into the Australian Open, he’s not going to be getting a wildcard. He’d have to go into qualifying, so that’s a decision for him.
“I would hope that Bernie would want to play (qualifying), but he’s indicated that that’s likely not the case. He’s one of Australia’s top players and we’d love to see him competing and playing. (But) his decision will be his.”
Tomic, ranked a career high 17 in 2016, has plunged to 140 after a forgettable season in which he won only 10 of 19 matches at the elite level. He has reached the fourth round of the Australian Open on three occasions.
The opening grand slam of the season takes place in Melbourne from Jan. 15-28.
Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru; Editing by John O'Brien