SYDNEY: Tennis player Bernard Tomic has walked off the set of the Australian reality TV show “I’m A Celebrity … Get Me Out Of Here” saying that he wants to resume training as soon as he returns back from the African jungle.
Tomic quit the programme on Tuesday after just three days, saying it interrupted his recent renewed focus on his tennis career.
“After being there for a couple days, it made me depressed and it made me a bit sad and I didn’t want to continue doing that to myself,” Tomic told News Corp Australia. “I need to get back on the court.”
“I just started recently to get back and feeling good. I won a couple of matches at the Australian Open in the (qualifiers).”
“I just regret leaving that last month-and-a-half behind. It wasn’t the right thing for me to do.”
The 25-year-old has flirted with controversy in recent years, both on and off the court. Last year he was fined 15,000 dollars for saying he was “bored” during his defeat to Germany’s Mischa Zverev at Wimbledon.
In 2016, he held his racquet in reverse while defending a match point at the 2016 Madrid Open, which also garnered criticism.
Earlier this month, after losing Australian Open qualifiers, he told media: “I just count money, that’s all I do. I count my millions. You go do what I did… You go make 13-14 million [dollars]. Good luck.”
The last time Tomic was in the top 20 was in 2016. Since then, he has continuously slipped in the world rankings and currently sits at 168.
“I’ve got to get back to where I belong. It might take me six months, but every day’s going to be a step closer and every day I spend out there is a day I lose,” Tomic told News Corp.
“As soon as I get back I’ll be training, getting ready to go to particularly tournaments and stuff and where I should be in the sport, in the top 20, top 15 and push for the top five in the world.”
Australian captain Lleyton Hewitt said Tuesday a return to the Davis Cup fold for Tomic appeared “highly doubtful.”
He said Australia had “bent over backward” for Tomic. “At the end of the day you have to want to help yourself,” Hewitt said.
“For me, he’s made some mistakes and it will be a long way back,” Hewitt said of Tomic’s Davis Cup future.
Previously, Tomic had told local broadcaster Channel Ten that Australia could not win the Davis Cup title without him and promised to expose corruption within Tennis Australia organization.
The Australian team, headed by Nick Kyrgios, will face Germany in the Davis Cup first round in Brisbane, starting on Friday.