Tomic exits in Zverev re-match
Bernard Tomic has fallen in a disappointing straight-sets loss to Mischa Zverev in the first round of Wimbledon, his earliest exit from SW19 since 2012.
Bernard Tomic has bowed out of the Wimbledon singles draw with an insipid straight-sets loss to German Mischa Zverev.
Tomic complained of hurting his back in the warm-up but even his victorious opponent was left surprised by the ease of his passage through to the second round.
Australia’s former quarterfinalist had easily beaten Zverev only last week in Eastbourne, but slumped to a 6-4 6-3 6-4 defeat in just 84 minutes on Tuesday.
“I thought it was going to be a complicated match because I played him a couple days ago in Eastbourne,” said Zverev, the tournament’s 27th seed.
“I know the way he plays. It’s not always easy because it seems like maybe, let’s say he’s the opposite of, let’s say, Rafa (Nadal) on the court with the intensity level between points especially.
“But he knows what to do on the grass court, knows what shots to use. He beat me quite easily a few days ago, so I was expecting a very tough match.”
With Nick Kyrgios retiring with a hip injury and Thanasi Kokkinakis, John Millman and Andrew Whittington also losing, only Jordan Thompson can save Australia from a first-ever Wimbledon first-round men’s wipeout.
Tomic, who reached the fourth round last year for the second time since making the last eight as a teenager in 2011, has a history of back trouble.
He showed no signs of discomfort before seemingly jarring it while bending down innocuously for a forehand half-volley.
He dropped serve for the first time soon after to concede the opening set before labouring on for several games until calling for treatment while trailing by a break and 4-3 in the second.
The 24-year-old needed medication, but Zverev only needed one more service break in the third set to wrap up the match in less than an hour and a half.
The Queenslander can now expect to plummet even further down the rankings from his current standing as the world No.59, having soared to a career-high 17th only last year.
Zverev, who famously removed world No.1 Andy Murray from the Australian Open in January and is enjoying a career-high ranking at age 29, next plays Mikhail Kukushkin.