Bernard Tomic wins ITF Futures Chennai tournament on same day as Australian Open men’s final

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Bernard Tomic secured a tournament win on Sunday.

Sadly for the man once touted as a grand slam challenger, it was nowhere near the vicinity of Melbourne Park.

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While all eyes in the tennis world were locked in on Jannik Sinner’s stunning comeback victory that unfolded on Rod Laver Arena, Tomic was sweating it out in Chennai, India.

Tomic entered the ITF Chennai tournament as the number one seed and comfortably the biggest name in the field of 32 players.

The 31-year-old former world number 17 was barely troubled on his way to the final, dropping only one set through four matches.

In his quarter-final contest against 7th seed Sandro Kopp, Tomic had to dig deep in a match that lasted over three hours as he advanced 5-7, 7-6, 7-6.

But from there on he was dominant.

It was much the same in the final as Tomic went up against India’s Sasi Kumar Mukund and secured the 6-4, 7-6 straight sets victory.

While it’s a win on the comeback trail for Tomic, the prize money is a stark contrast to what he could’ve earned at the Australian Open.

The Chennai victory sees Tomic pocket $25,000, a long way behind the $3.15 million Sinner secured with his grand slam victory.

That figure is a smaller pay cheque than players who competed in qualifying for the opening grand slam on the calendar earned.

A first round Australian Open qualifier secured $31,250 while a wildcard entrant into the main draw walked away with a first round pay cheque of $120,000.

Despite the victory it’s a long fall from grace for the former top ranked Australian men’s player.

Currently ranked 290th in the world, Tomic has been on the comeback trail but his rise failed to secure him a wildcard spot for the Australian Open.

Having fallen all the way down to 825 in the rankings in 2022, he has been chipping away and climbing back up the board.

The former Australian and US Open juniors champion stuck to the Challenger circuit throughout 2023.

He has only played in the main draw of the Australian Open twice since 2018, the last time in 2021, having played nine in a row from his debut in 2009.

Australian Open boss Craig Tiley said the strained relationship between Tennis Australia and Tomic held no bearing on his wildcard status that ultimately came up short.

“It’s not so much about the relationship, but it’s about if they’re deserving,” Tiley said.

“The things we consider – the form of the player coming in, there is a factor looking at age in some instances because do you want to give a younger player the opportunity versus one who’s been the journeyman for a while?

“We haven’t made the (wildcard) decisions in qualifying yet … we’ve made quite a few decisions on the main draw which we’ll announce in the coming days.”