Tomic the Tank Engine strikes
BERNARD Tomic quitting early isn't exactly a new story.
Throughout his tennis career he's made giving up on points or games altogether a regular occurrence.
He's been accused of tanking by John McEnroe while Novak Djokovic threw heavy criticism his way following a lacklustre display during the Madrid Open.
He was booed by the home crowd during the 2014 Australian Open after pulling out of a match against Rafael Nadal following the first set, citing a groin injury.
Later that year he wrote his name into the record books when he lost 6-0 6-1 to Jarko Nieminen in only 28 minutes, the fastest defeat in ATP history.
Then there was the Madrid Open in 2016 when he was facing match point and rather than try to work his way back into the contest, he flipped his racquet around before not even attempting to return his opponent Fabio Fognini's serve.
And of course who could forget the underarm serve during the Vienna Open when he was dispatched by French qualifier Pierre-Hughes Herbert.
Now it seems he is set to add another early exit to his ever-growing list.
After parachuting his way into Channel 10's I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!, it seems Tomic has already had enough of the challenges.
Admitting he was afraid of heights, Tomic was selected by Anthony Mundine to complete the "Bridge Too Far" challenge.
Suspended over a cliff on narrow boards, he was fitted with goggles that made everything appear upside down and well, see the results for yourself.
After stumbling off the course and stating he felt like he was going to vomit, Tomic quit the challenge and became the first contestant to shout the words "I'm a celebrity, get me out of here."
From there it seemed like Tomic was out the door. "I just wasn't expecting all of this, you know. I am just not coping well. This is not the real world," Tomic said.
"This is the jungle. This is so different. Not what I expected. I don't think I can do it. I think it is best if I go."
Bernard Tomic quitting challenge early and wanting out. Never took him for a quitter 😜#ImACelebrityAU— M (@moibrahim13) January 29, 2018
As Tomic thoughts of walking away continued to build, his fellow contestants did their best to convince him to stick around.
"There is no point in me being here anymore and wasting unnecessary time for myself," Tomic said.
Anthony Mundine stated "we would love you to stay" as he and Jackie Gillies managed to talk Tomic into sleeping on his decision.
The drama unfolded after Tomic had earlier been on the receiving end of a serve from the contestants surrounding his tennis career.
Former AFL player Josh Gibson led the charge in questioning the often-maligned 25-year-old who has spent the majority of his life in the media spotlight.
"If you retired now would you be honestly happy with everything you have achieved in the game?" Gibson said.
Tomic delivered a straight reply of "no" before stating the different outlook his career would have had if he was around 10 years earlier.
"If I had of played back 10 years ago, I would've been probably top three in the world," Tomic said.
After stating he "could have been top five and won some slams" during his career, Gibson - a three time premiership player - didn't hold back.
"Exactly. Could have, would have, should have," Gibson responded bluntly.
Before last night's episode The Project screened an interview Carrie Bickmore recorded with Tomic before he travelled to South Africa.
Asked by Bickmore if he regretted ever getting into tennis to begin with, Tomic's response was stunning.
"Yeah, probably," he said. "The grind with everything and I mean taken, you know, 18 years already. It's stressful, it's not easy, it's a big job."
"I don't love tennis but I like it a lot and it's something that I need to do and I need to do as best as I can," he added.
Tomic referred to an ongoing feud with Tennis Australia as the reason he's no longer playing Davis Cup, but said he couldn't go into details.
He declared Australia would never win the Davis Cup unless he and Nick Kyrgios were both playing.
It appears Tomic's attempt to change the public perception he's forged is off to a shaky start.