Tomic’s season of woe continues in China

Bernard Tomic faces a reality check after suffering yet another first-round loss that will send the one-time world No.17 spiralling outside the top 150.

Tomic had planned to use the Asian swing to restore his flagging ranking to ensure he doesn’t need to qualify for the Australian Open – or, worse still, beg Tennis Australia for a wildcard into the Melbourne major in January.

Instead, the former Australian Open junior champion and youngest-ever winner of a main-draw match at Melbourne Park is projected to fall to 161st in the world after a 62-minute 6-4 6-2 loss to Britain’s Kyle Edmund at the Chengdu Open on Tuesday.

Tomic is now winless since in three months, his last victory coming against German Mischa Zverev on Eastbourne grass in June.

The 24-year-old has since suffered a first-round loss to Zverev at Wimbledon, where he later admitted to feigning injury and being “a little bit bored” on court, a confession that drew a record $US15,000 fine.

Tomic also crashed out in the first round of the US Open in New York and, after his latest defeat, is now facing the fight of his life to resurrect his career.

The former grand slam quarter-finalist will need to climb to around 105th in the rankings to secure direct entry to the Australian Open.

But, with few main-draw opportunities in big events to come in 2017, time is fast running out.

Other winners in Chengdu included Marcos Baghdatis, Denis Istomin, Dusan Lajovic, Lu Yen-Hsun and Nikoloz Basilashvili, a 6-3 2-6 6-2 victor over seventh seed Viktor Troicki.

Argentina’s Guido Pella also advanced following a 6-4 7-6 win over Borna Coric.

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