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Tomic enters Open qualifying

The tennis comeback trail for Bernard Tomic will next head to Doha where he will be one of 11 Australians trying to qualify for the Australian Open offshore for the first time. Tomic, the one-time world number 17 who is now ranked 226 in the world, has been working his way back to full fitness…

The tennis comeback trail for Bernard Tomic will next head to Doha where he will be one of 11 Australians trying to qualify for the Australian Open offshore for the first time.

Tomic, the one-time world number 17 who is now ranked 226 in the world, has been working his way back to full fitness via a series of low-key events in Brisbane.

He has been battling a back injury which forced him out of the final of the UTR Pro Tennis Series tournament in Brisbane 10 days ago while he was warming up.

Tomic, 28, has only played nine ATP tour matches in 2020 and didn’t received an Australian Open wildcard.

Instead he will travel to Qatar to try to secure one of 16 qualifying spots in the main draw for the rescheduled Open, which will be held from February 8-21.

“Unfortunately, I couldn’t play today but hopefully I’ll improve,” Tomic said after withdrawing from the Brisbane event.

“I’ve been trying for a year to come back, so I’ll try my best.”

Qualifying for the first Grand Slam of the year has been moved away from Melbourne because of COVID-19-related issues and will take place from January 10-13.

Players will need to win three sudden-death matches, with the 16 qualifiers plus a further six alternates travelling to Australia where they will have to undertake 14 days of mandatory quarantine with other main draw players.

Tomic, a Wimbledon quarter-finalist in 2011, didn’t make the main draw at the Australian Open earlier this year after bombing out in qualifying.

West Australian veteran Matt Ebden, Victorian Andrew Harris and Queenslanders Jason Kubler and Akira Santillan are among the other 11 Aussies heading to Dubai with Tomic.

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