Becker still holds out hope for Tomic
BORIS Becker says Bernard Tomic has to be "responsible for his own life'' after plotting a path out of Africa.
Tomic claimed after leaving the African set of the television reality show I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here on Tuesday that he wanted to return to training for tennis, but his words were a whirlpool of sometimes contradictory claims about the pressures.
Tomic's former Australian Davis Cup teammate Sam Groth says he is not sure a return to tennis in a bid to pull his career from a nosedive would work for Tomic, who has tumbled to No.168 in the world.
The 25-year-old Gold Coaster said of his time on the reality show that ''half the time I'm just depressed'', but it is impossible to know the wider context of that remark in regards to his state of mind.
Becker said he likes Tomic and sees him as only the latest case of a young sportsman having troubles growing up in the spotlight.
In 2011 a 19-year-old Tomic became the youngest man since Becker, a Wimbledon champion at the age of 17, to reach the quarter-finals at the All-England Club.
"He's facing a question of where does he want to go with the rest of his life. He's the only one who could find an answer to that,'' said Becker, who is in Brisbane for Germany's Davis Cup tie against Australia.
"I was lucky that I had a great family behind me who supported me. I say very carefully that they weren't depending financially on me.
"It's the problem sometimes that these up-and-coming superstars, they are making a fortune and then they have 5000 friends and sometimes it's hard to handle.
"Professionally, he does a few things that are unprofessional. He's responsible for his own life and hopefully he will come around.''
It is not known what the tournament plans are for Tomic, who said he has himself to blame for being isolated in tennis by his decisions.
"I think he has some deep seated issues he needs to talk to someone with. Whatever he is struggling with, I don't know coming back on the tennis court is going help,'' Groth said on Melbourne radio.
Becker said young players were taught tennis but not instructed on "how to handle fame and fortune''.
"There isn't a school for that - the school is called life. You make those mistakes in order to know better,'' Becker said.
"I know Bernard very well and I like him. He had many practice (sessions) with Novak (Djokovic, who was formerly coached by Becker) and he has always been good with us.
"I know his father and I know his sister as well.
"He loves tennis, otherwise he wouldn't be as good as he was.
"He's a fine tennis player. If he wants to put in the work he can be one again.''
Australian Davis Cup doubles player John Peers said Tomic's peers had "reached out'' to him at times over the past two years and he hoped he understood there was support for him among that group.
"It (the scenes on the reality television show) is sad, knowing what he is going through and knowing him personally,'' Peers said.