Bernard Tomic has criticised the Covid protocols at Australian Open qualifying and insisted that he “will test positive” for the virus in the next few days.

The Australian was beaten in straight sets (6-1, 6-4) by Russia’s Roman Safiullin in Melbourne to end his hopes of featuring in his home Grand Slam.

Tomic told the chair umpire during the match that he was struggling physically and suffering from symptoms of a Covid-19 infection, before expressing incredulity at the decision that mandatory PCR testing would not be required to compete.

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The 29-year-old subsequently revealed via social media that he had been advised to isolate by doctors.

“For sure, in the next two days I’ll test positive, I’m telling you,” Tomic told umpire Aline Da Rocha Nocinto during the second set. “I’ll buy you dinner if I don’t test positive in three days. Otherwise, you buy me dinner.

“I can’t believe nobody is getting tested. They’re allowing players to come onto the court with rapid tests in their room… come on! No official PCR testing.”

Tomic did not speak to the press after the match.

He did, however, say that he was “really sick” in a post on Instagram made soon after his exit was confirmed.

“Feeling really sick, I’m now back in my hotel room,” Tomic said.

“Just spoke to the doctors on site and they’ve asked me to isolate. They couldn’t treat me yet to avoid contact.”

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Tomic’s compatriot Nick Kyrgios pulled out of this week’s Sydney Tennis Classic after testing positive for Covid-19.

Players due to compete in the Australian Open must either be vaccinated or be given a medical exemption to enter the state of Victoria.

They will stay in a single hotel, the Crown Towers, with Tennis Australia chief executive Craig Tiley confirming that testing will be on site and urging players to get their own room to reduce the risk of having to isolate as a close contact.


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