Tolga Yenigün – ISTANBUL
The Turkish Tennis Federation has launched talks with world number 17 Australian tennis player Bernard Tomic, in a bid to grant him Turkish citizenship.
Tomic, who recently lost 6-4, 6-4 and 7-6 to Andy Murray in the 2016 Australian Open, has reportedly said he şs positive about the offer, partly due to the influence of his Bosnian mother Adisa Tomic and his Australian coach Gavin Hopper.
Since last year, he has occasionally trained at Istanbul’s Garanti Koza World of Sports (WOS) complex.
The issue was first brought up when Tomic, who was impressed with the development of the sport in Istanbul, met Turkish Tennis Federation President Osman Tural in Ankara
in late 2014.
Although Tomic agreed to become a Turkish citizen with a deal worth $750,000, the deal was not confirmed due to some obstacles.
The second attempt to nationalize Tomic came when his father John Tomic got upset due to his son being overshadowed by other Australian players Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis before a recent tournament. He then contacted Turkish officials.
The talks, which were halted as Tomic qualified for the 4th Round in the Australian Open, may now resume after the tournament is finished.
Tomic, 23, has 133 career wins and holds three titles.
The player was recently involved in a spat with Roger Federer, after the latter criticized him about his work-rate. Federer told Tomic that he had to work harder if he wanted to reach the top 10, to which Tomic replied that the Swiss great was also now some way behind the level of top-ranked Novak Djokovic, Agence France-Presse reported on Jan. 26.
Federer later admitted that he had made the comments thinking that Tomic was still ranked around 50th in the world and apologized for his remarks.