Tomic snapped with accused coke dealer
TROUBLED Gold Coast tennis star Bernard Tomic is back blowing off steam on the Glitter Strip party circuit - including dining with a man fighting a drugs trafficking charge.
Tomic posed in a social media photo at trendy Japanese restaurant Etsu on Saturday with a group including Ada Onur, recently bailed after being charged with dealing and producing cocaine.
Onur's lawyer Ahmed Dib, who was with the group and had the Instagram photo labelled "dinner with the lads", told the Gold Coast Bulletin it was testament to Tomic's character he didn't ditch "friends" having a rough patch.
"It's a small town and everyone knows everyone and those charges against Ada, he is defending.
"He is fighting the charges all the way. And because someone is accused of something doesn't mean people who have known each other shouldn't remain friends.
"Bernie is a true Aussie - when his friends are accused of things and down and out he stands by them. It's testament to his character," Mr Dib said.
Police allege Ada and co-accused Chris Duspara sold drugs to about 60 different customers, more than 300 times between September 2016 and March 2017.
It is officially the off-season for Tomic, whose poor year on the tennis circuit saw his ranking tumble from inside the top 30 to 141, leaving him needing a wildcard for the Australian Open.
So far he's making the most of being back home, enjoying a night at the Maxim lads magazine HOT 100 party at Stingray Lounge in Surfers Paradise on Thursday before the Etsu dinner.
Mr Dib, also a professional boxer with the NSW lightweight belt to his name, said Tomic seemed keen to turn around his poor 2017 form.
"We were just having dinner, a very casual get together and spoke about his upcoming training, we spoke about the Brisbane International, spoke about my work.
"He came across as someone who is dedicated - obviously upset with the year that has been - and ready to turn it around.
"He talked about how he is training hard, on the right path and ready to have a good year. He seems in the right head space," Mr Dib said.
Mr Dib added Tomic, 25, ate a healthy Japanese dinner and stuck to water.
"When an athlete is eating healthy and drinking only water it's a good sign. I believe he is really motivated."
Mr Dib said he'd spoken to Tomic yesterday about the upcoming Bulletin article and he was "relaxed" and "doesn't really care to be honest": "His focus is getting back on the tennis court and winning titles."
Tomic, who has earned $7 million alone in prizemoney, was unable to be contacted and didn't respond to a text.
His horror season was punctuated by a lacklustre first-round loss at his favoured Wimbledon, where he admitted he was struggling for motivation and "bored" on court.
It prompted close mate and Tennis Gold Coast president Mike Ford to tell critics to back off, saying he was concerned for Tomic who obviously needed space to deal with off-court issues.
Later, in a raw Channel Seven Sunday Night interview, Tomic reflected on his humble beginnings, success at a young age and how he now saw tennis as a job and something he liked but never loved.
Asked what advice he'd give his 14-year-old self on tennis, he said: "If you don't love it, don't do it - my position, I'm trapped. I have to do it. I'm not as bad as a person as people see I am. I'm just Bernard."
Onur is scheduled to reappear in court next month.