Australia's Bernard Tomic was jeered by the crowd at his home grand slam when he retired injured after losing the opening set of his first round match 6-4 against world number one Rafa Nadal on Tuesday. Tomic, who has been criticised in the past for "tanking" - or deliberately not playing to his full ability during matches - had appeared uncomfortable from the outset at Rod Laver Arena, and took a medical time-out at the change of ends when leading 2-1.
The 21-year-old later ripped a bandage off his high left thigh at the urging off his camp and played out the set appearing restricted and grimacing after points. With the set lost, Tomic returned to his chair and shook his head at medical staff, saying: "I can't do it." After walking over to tell the 13-times grand slam champion he would no longer go on, sections of the crowd booed the 57th-ranked Australian, who was kicked off the nation's Davis Cup team in 2012 for attitude problems but later reinstated.
Top seed Nadal, who will play 17-year-old Australian wildcard Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round, sympathised with Tomic, whose coach and father John has been banned from the tournament after being convicted of assaulting his son's former hitting partner Thomas Drouet.
"I just want to say for Bernard, I hope he really gets better very soon," Nadal, who retired hurt during the 2010 tournament when trailing Briton Andy Murray, said. "It's very tough to go out in a tournament like this at home," he told reporters. "I feel really sorry for Bernard. I was in that situation (before) "There's no reason you have to continue (if injured)."