Paris: Australian firebrand Bernard Tomic was left winless this year after crashing out of the French Open on Monday and then rendered almost speechless when it came to his media duties.
After losing 6-4, 5-7, 6-4, 6-4 to Argentinian Marco Trungelliti, who had driven 1,000km from Barcelona to play the first-round tie, Tomic then conducted a surly news conference with exasperated reporters.
"So how do you assess that today?" asked a journalist.
"Well, it was okay, no."
What about Wimbledon where he was a quarter-finalist in 2011 and seemingly had the world at his feet?
"Yeah, we'll see. We'll see what's next," replied 25-year-old Tomic, fiddling with his baseball cap and shuffling in his seat.
His most considered reply on Monday stretched to a comparatively epic 11 words.
That was when he was asked for his feelings on facing Trungelliti who was still referred to only as a 'lucky loser' on the schedule until he signed in as a replacement for original opponent Nick Kyrgios, the Australian compatriot of Tomic who had withdrawn with an injury.
"Yeah. But it changed, then I had to play. That's it."
And so on... and so on.
"Well," said another reporter sweating over the space he had to fill with Tomic's gems.
"Have you reflected on your place in tennis? On your desire? Are you in this primarily for financial reasons or do you want to do other things?"
Now surely this was Tomic's moment, to offer a deeper perspective on the troubles which have seen his ranking tumble to 206 and condemned him to exile from Australia's Davis Cup team.
Tomic had come through qualifying at Roland Garros this year after playing — and losing — his only match in 2018 in Istanbul.
He is no stranger to controvery after a series of run-ins with the authorities down the years.
Last year at Wimbledon, the former world number 17 was fined for claiming he was bored by tennis and had faked an injury. His racquet sponsor dropped him as a result.
Then, earlier this year, he even appeared on Australian reality TV show, 'I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here'.
Even Kyrgios, no stranger to controversy, has been left frustrated by the antics of his former teammate.
"Bernie has lost his way. We were pretty good mates when I was younger," said Kyrgios last year.
"But a lot has changed since then. He needs to figure out what he wants to do.
"He says tennis doesn't make him happy, that he doesn't really like the game, yet he says the only thing that will really make him happy is winning a Grand Slam. It doesn't make sense at all."
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Updated Date: May 28, 2018 20:28:58 IST