Bernard Tomic gives Djokovic a walkover

INDIAN WELLS – After his impressive win over younger countryman Thanasi Kokkinakis Wednesday, it seemed Bernard Tomic’s participation in a quarter-final showdown with Novak Djokovic was questionable, at best.

But 24 hours ago, it appeared that a painful and infected wisdom tooth was going to be the culprit.

“I wasn’t sure as well if I was going to play today. I had problems with the wisdom tooth I have to remove. I was getting a lot of pain and headache, so it’s going to be tough for me tomorrow to see how I wake up and what medication I need to take, because I have to do the surgery in the next few weeks,” Tomic said.

“It’s going to take me out maybe a week, but I have to do it. Somehow it came across now. No, I was happy to play the match today.”


Tomic’s withdrawal from the match was announced just after 2 p.m., and the official reason was a back injury.

I mean, he was doing SO well, on so many levels.

These pics are of Tomic this morning, about 11:30 a.m. on the practice court.

We didn’t actually see him hit any tennis balls, just doing this sort of tai-chi-looking stretching deal. He wasn’t grimacing in pain or anything like that, but that doesn’t necessarily hold any deeper meaning.

Tomic said later that in addition to the back, the right side of his face was pretty swollen because of the wisdom tooth and he may have to miss Miami, if he can get it removed.

He also said that it had bothered him a  year ago, but he didn’t get it taken out then. So that makes sense.

Basically, Bernie is kind of a mess.

The right side of his face and neck are inflamed. He went out to try to hit today and his lower back was sore, and he couldn’t move. He’s on antibiotics for the tooth. He said he woke up and had trouble “breathing on on that side” (Huh???).

As for the back, it started in Memphis. And as we all know, all the big body parts are interconnected so it’s the back, and the hips, and the groin. The match against Kokkinakis was a tough one, he said, especially on the antibiotics.

(BNP Paribas Open pic)

(Photo from the BNP Paribas Open)


He’s having a hard time moving. And he’s having a hard time turning his neck. And he had to play Djokovic.

“Yeah, I woke up and I wasn’t breathing for some reason. I woke up choking myself,” he said, laughing. “It was tougher me to wake up and go to the shower. I had pain all – my eye felt like someone stabbed my eye. I just couldn’t do anything.

“I went to hit and I couldn’t run. It’s not easy when you have two parts of the body that are like really in pain,” he added. “It’s not a good feeling. You know, maybe if one of those things wasn’t there I could have played, but having two is not good.”

Basically, he’s a train wreck. We can all relate.

You wouldn’t think anyone would have to scramble to find a dentist but tennis players are not normal people; it’s about scrambling to find one in the city you’re headed to, basically a total stranger on someone’s recommendation. Then again, Tomic is BIG in Miami, right? 🙂

In the meantime, they moved the doubles match – the Wimbledon final rematch – between the Bryan brothers and Jack Sock and Canadian Vasek Pospisil to the 7 p.m. slot vacated by Tomic-Djokovic. It was originally scheduled for the day session, after Murray-Lopez.

When it was announced to the crowd – which already had a quick and uncompetitive match from Jelena Jankovic that ended 6-1, 4-1, retired (by Lesia Tsurenko, conqueror of Genie Bouchard) and a fairly straightforward one between Andy Murray and Feliciano Lopz – the crowd booed.


It’s nice exposure for the American doubles stars at home; that said, the night session tonight is now two doubles matches. And no Djokovic. So there are going to be a lot of pretty cheesed-off, high-rent customers.

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