A relieved Bernard Tomic hopes he can get his tennis career back on track, saying his bid to fight a driving charge sapped his performance over the past year.
The 20-year-old pleaded guilty to three traffic offences stemming from three run-ins with police on the Gold Coast on Australia Day last year.
He defended a fourth charge of failing to stop for police but was found guilty by Magistrate Ron Kilner in Southport Magistrates Court on Monday.
Bernard Tomic ... "Everything happens for a reason." Photo: AFP
Tomic was given a $750 12-month good behaviour bond for that offence, as well as a $1000 fine for the three traffic offences.
No convictions were recorded.
Australia’s highest-ranked men’s tennis player said the court case and ensuing public scrutiny had affected his performance in the past 11 months.
He said he was happy to put the matter behind him.
‘‘Now I can really focus on my tennis,’’ he told reporters.
‘‘It was a big misunderstanding. I’m glad it’s over. It’s been really difficult for my tennis and myself ... now I can really focus on my tennis and getting my performance back to where it should be.’’
Tomic denied feeling that he had been unfairly targeted by police.
But he did turn and say ‘‘thanks guys’’ to police in the courtroom as his lawyer read out offensive comments posted on his personal website after the Australia Day incidents.
‘‘Absolutely not. They’re doing their job, and so am I,’’ Tomic said when asked if he had an issue with police.
Police twice told Tomic to return home last January after booking him for breaching special licence conditions in his high-powered BMW coupe.
It was on his second journey back to his Surfers Paradise residence that an officer tried to stop him for the third time that day.
Tomic told the court he mistakenly believed Senior Constable Dale Snekel was gesturing for him to drive home, rather than stop.
‘‘I thought he was following me to go home as that day (twice) before I’d been told to go home,’’ Tomic told the court.
‘‘I thought he was just making sure I was going home ... those were my instructions.’’
Mr Kilner found the officer’s signals could reasonably be interpreted as requesting a driver to stop and found Tomic was guilty of failing to stop.
The magistrate took into account Tomic’s good driving record and accepted his behaviour wasn’t consistent with someone trying to evade police.
He said the offence was at the lower end of the scale, and it was a shame Tomic’s profile had caused so much publicity and distress.
Tomic confirmed he has since sold his $200,000 BMW.