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Australian Open: A 'sick' Bernard Tomic criticised for Sydney International withdrawal

A "sick" Bernard Tomic has copped a barrage of criticism for withdrawing from the Sydney International to prepare for the Australian Open.

Tomic, who retired when trailing Teymuraz Gabashvili 6-3, 3-0 in the quarter-final just a couple of hours after the Australian Open draw was announced, revealed he was battling fatigue, dizziness and food poisoning

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Tomic abandons tournament mid-game

Bernard Tomic has sensationally walked off the court during his match against Teymuraz Gabashvili in the Sydney International. The top-ranked Australian was trailing 0-6, 0-3 at the time.

The 23-year-old, who will face Denis Istomin in the opening round at Melbourne Park, was well aware of who was on his side of the draw when he took to Ken Rosewall Arena on Friday in what would have been the first of his two matches on the day given the rain delays the previous day.

"As I was warming up I looked at my phone. I knew I was going to get the text, and I got the text of the draw and it was very good for me," Tomic said.

"So feeling sick, playing two matches today, it was going to be very difficult. I felt - just especially last night didn't sleep a lot. It was like if I'm really going to play two matches today it's going to be tough.

"I have to play maybe Monday there. For me, the best idea was not to play. I love Sydney so much. It's just a shame I couldn't be 100% today. That's the way it is. That's tennis."

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Tomic was heard exchanging in a conversation with the umpire about the favourable draw he received and how there was little benefit in playing on in Sydney when his ranking would only go up by one position if he won the tournament.

"I told him, yeah, two matches today, sick, win the tournament, go up one spot. Doesn't sound good for me, does it?" Tomic said.

Australian tennis greats and Channel Seven commentators Todd Woodbridge and John Fitzgerald said the incident "did not look good".

"Well, disappointing," Woodbridge said. "Not much more we can say about that, Fitzy. If you're that worried, you don't sit there and smile.

"I understand the difficulties about preparing for the Australian Open and wanting to be fresh but you've got responsibilities to the tour and responsibilities to the fans and the tournament. That didn't look real good."

Fitzgerald replied: "No, that looked horrendous."

Former Australian doubles great Rennae Stubbs was equally unimpressed.

"No offence Bernie but you're not winning the Australian Open. You might want to concentrate on winning Sydney instead. #idontunderstand," she said on Twitter.

While Tomic has been a huge advocate of the Sydney tournament in the past, he admits playing in a tournament so close to the grand slam, with the potential of playing two matches in a day, was too much for him to handle in his condition.

"I think it's obviously not easy to play the week before," he said.

"I personally love Sydney. I love the tournament. For me, I always feel great playing here. Just unfortunate how it happened. I had to play maybe two matches today not feeling my best. Two days away from the a grand slam, not the best preparation for me. Just unfortunate I couldn't play anymore matches here."​

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