Bernard Tomic need look no further than Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal if he seeks a roadmap to take him back to the upper ranks of the world of professional tennis.
Tomic enjoys one key advantage over those two. He is just 25 years of age.
His disadvantage is that his issues last year seemed more of the mental variety, not the physical maladies that forced Federer and Nadal to miss extended periods of court time, or play at less than optimum health.
“I feel like having wasted that last year made me wake up that I need to get back where I belong and maybe push to become a top-five, top-eight player,” the world No.168 told a News Corp podcast.
He is preparing to embark on a sojourn in the second-tier ATP Challenger Circuit in hopes of regaining the feeling of winning again, and then rejoining the ATP Tour proper in the early stages of April.
Tomic will have to have some outstanding results in Morocco and Monte Carlo if he is to get into the French Open via a route other than qualifying. Even if he was to make the main draw of the French Open, clay is not his surface of choice. He has won only three matches in eight attempts at Roland Garros and none of those wins were against any of the higher-ranked players.
It would seem that Tomic has lost his passion for the game, something of which no one could accuse Federer and Nadal.
“(It’s similar to) liking a girl,” Tomic said. “You don’t love her but you like her … that’s tennis for me.”
Twenty-five and jaded does not seem a proper formula for a return to the top ranks, but Tomic does possess all the skills to play at a high level, so perhaps he can at least make it back to the top 100, or even return to the form he enjoyed in 2015, when he finished inside the top 20.