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"He was playing the match of his life": Tomic crashes out of Wimbledon

Tennis

Bernard Tomic is lamenting what might have been after blowing a huge opportunity to go deep at Wimbledon.

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With a quarter-final spot beckoning, Tomic surrendered a 4-2 lead in the fifth set to crash to a sapping fourth-round loss to Frenchman Lucas Pouille overnight.

Pouille battled back from a service break down in the deciding set to eliminate Australia’s 19th seed 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-4 10-8 in two hours and 55 minutes.

Tomic couldn’t hide his disappointment at the opportunity lost.

“It was a chance for me possibly to maybe make a semi here at Wimbledon,” he said.

“I think it was to play quarter-finals against (Tomas) Berdych or (Jiri) Vesely.

“I felt whoever won the match against us has a chance to play for a semi-final in a grand slam. It’s a mistake that I made.”

A two-time grand slam junior champion, Tomic’s only last-eight appearance at a major came as a teenage qualifier at the All England Club five years ago.

“I’ve played so many times in my career fourth rounds, third rounds in grand slams and only been to the quarters once,” he rued.

“I felt like this was a big opportunity for me. (But) I managed to play a player that was doing the right thing and playing the right way to win today.

“He was playing the match of his life.”

After waiting through a 90-minute rain delay with the score locked up at one set all, Tomic appeared back on track for the quarters after snaring a two-sets-to-one lead.

But even after he dropped the fourth set, Tomic had the chance to turn the screws after breaking Pouille for 4-2 in the decider.

“But you can’t really look at that. He just played a great game. He took it from me,” Tomic said.

“At that point that was the match there, I felt like. He hit three cold winners.

“I had a chance at 5-4, love-30, and I returned well. He managed a half-volley winner, which I don’t know how he did.

“That could have been love-40 and three match points there.

“These matches, you win and you lose, and it was important to compete and I gave myself a chance and it was a good Wimbledon for me.”

Despite his exit, Tomic is projected to climb to an equal-career-high ranking of No.17 in the world next Monday.

-AAP

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