Tennis: Tomic pulls out of Olympics

Bernard Tomic serves against Fabio Fognini of Italy. Photo / Getty Images
Bernard Tomic serves against Fabio Fognini of Italy. Photo / Getty Images

Bernard Tomic may have beaten Australia's Olympic selectors to the punch by ruling himself out of the Rio Games.

The 23-year-old's selection was under a cloud after he deliberately gave up a match point at a tournament in Madrid and said he didn't care because he was worth $10 million, leading Australian Olympic Committee chef de mission Kitty Chiller to describe his behaviour as "appalling".

Tomic said he based his decision to withdraw on what was best for his career.

"With a heavy sense of regret, I have made the difficult decision to not play with the Australian tennis team as they pursue an Olympic medal in Rio," Tomic said in a statement.

"I have always proudly represented my country in Davis Cup and given my all when wearing the green and gold.

"But on the basis of my extremely busy playing schedule and my own personal circumstances, I am regrettably unable to commit to this year's tournament."

Tomic confirmed he would instead play at an ATP World Tour tournament in Los Cabos in Mexico during the Olympics.

The event in Mexico has replaced a tournament in Bogota that Tomic has won the past two years, meaning he will be defending significant rankings points.

"It is extremely unfortunate that the date of the tournament has changed this year to clash with the Olympics in Rio," Tomic said.

"I had made a commitment to the tournaments organisers to defend my title before I knew that the date changed."

Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt - who skipped the 2004 Athens Olympics to focus on the US Open where he subsequently made the final - said Tomic had not made the decision to bypass the Games lightly.

"Scheduling can always be difficult in these circumstances," Hewitt said.

"Bernie has always made himself available to play for Australia in the Davis Cup and he is very passionate about playing for his country."

Tomic's match point antics in Madrid were the latest in a long line behavioural issues on and off the court for the world No.22.

"I think it was appalling behaviour.

It goes against every ... value that all the Olympians live by, it goes against everything that we've been trying to build in this team," Chiller said on Saturday.

Days after Chiller's warning, Tomic withdrew from his first-round Italian Open match after just eight minutes, citing illness.

Tomic represented Australia at the 2012 London Games, losing to Japan's Kei Nishikori in straight sets.

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