With his daughter Sara competing for a wildcard entry to the Australian Open, John Tomic again proved to be a wildcard himself.
The firebrand tennis father was involved in yet another ugly incident at the Australian Open playoffs on Thursday, scolding a chair umpire during Sara’s quarter-final loss to Alison Bai at Melbourne Park.
An agitated Tomic repeatedly shouted at the umpire after a line call went against Sara early in the third set.
“Change linesman if they cannot see!”, he yelled, prompting the official to warn Tomic he would be removed from the venue unless he kept quiet.
Second-seeded Bai went on to win the match 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3 to secure her place in the final four who will compete for a sole berth in the main draw of January’s Australian Open.
Tomic has been no stranger to controversy, receiving a suspended jail sentence in 2013 for headbutting son Bernard’s French training partner.
He has also clashed with Tennis Australia, last year accusing high-performance director Pat Rafter of picking favourites when it came to player funding.
The attack led Rafter to declare Tennis Australia would no longer fund either of the Tomic siblings.
Down 5-1 in the second set after losing the first, 18-year-old Sara Tomic won five straight games to force a tiebreaker and take the match to a third set.
But the more experienced Bai held her nerve and took control of the match, her strong service game allowing her to aggressively charge to the net.
The match against Bai was Tomic’s only extended hitout of the tournament after her first-round opponent, last year’s winner Maddison Inglis, retired while four games down in the opening set.
Top seed Arina Rodionova also crashed out, losing to 19-year-old power-hitter Olivia Tjandramulia in a spirited three-set battle.
After seeking medical treatment at the end of a lacklustre second set, Tjandramulia fought back to claim a 6-3 1-6 7-5 win.
Elsewhere, third-seeded Jaimee Fourlis beat Kaylah McPhee in three sets, while Abbie Myers cruised to victory over Naiktha Bains.
The men’s tournament will continue on Friday before the women return for the semi-finals on Saturday.
AUSTRALIAN OPEN WOMEN’S WILDCARD PLAYOFF RESULTS – DAY TWO:
2-Alison Bai def 7-Sara Tomic 6-4 6-7 (6-8) 6-3
3-Jaimee Fourlis def Kaylah McPhee 4-6 6-3 6-1
6-Olivia Tjandramulia def 1-Arina Rodionova 6-3 1-6 7-5
Abbie Myers def 4-Naiktha Bains 6-4 6-3