An Australian Open tennis player ranted about testing protocols, bet an umpire a free dinner that he'd catch COVID, then got it 2 days later

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An Australian Open tennis player ranted about testing protocols, bet an umpire a free dinner that he'd catch COVID, then got it 2 days later
Bernard Tomic.Getty/Graham Denholm
  • Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic is frustrated by the Australian Open's testing protocols.
  • During an on-court rant about testing, Tomic bet an umpire dinner that he'd catch the virus within days.

Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic made an on-court bet with an umpire that he would catch COVID-19, then tested positive for the virus two days later.

Tomic was playing Russian Roman Safiullin in the first round of qualifying for the Australian Open on Tuesday when he began to complain about the testing protocols at the tournament, and made his prediction.

After losing the first set 6-1 in just 23 minutes, Tomic said to the umpire: "I'm sure in the next two days I'll test positive, I'm telling you.

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"I'll buy you dinner if I don't test positive in three days. Otherwise you buy me dinner."

He went on to complain about the tournament's coronavirus testing policy.

"I cannot believe nobody's getting tested. They're allowing players to come on the court with rapid tests in their room. Come on. No official PCR testing."

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The 29-year-old eventually lost the match 6-1, 6-3 before on Wednesday he said on Instagram that he was isolating in his hotel room because he was "feeling really sick."

His claims were met skepticism due to him reportedly making false statements about having the virus last year.

On Thursday, however, he was vindicated when he tested positive.

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"I still feel pretty sick," Tomic told The Sydney Morning Herald after receiving the positive result.

"I feel worse mentally than physically because I really was motivated to make a comeback and show the Australian public that I can be the tennis player they expect me to be. I'm disappointed this virus stopped me from doing that.

"I know it might not seem like it but this is the start of my return. Due to the illness, I just couldn't fire on all cylinders. As much as I tried, I didn't have the energy to fight. I'm going to do everything it takes to get back to the top. I really appreciate everyone's support."

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Tomic isn't the only home grown player to test positive for COVID ahead of this year's Australian Open.

Nick Kyrgios' withdrew from the Sydney Tennis Classic on Monday following a positive test, but is expected still expected to play at Melbourne Park, where he is set to face Great Britain's Liam Broady in the first round next week.

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