BERNARD Tomic insists he risked being out of the game for up to four months if he played on through a groin injury against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open.
Tomic was jeered by the crowd at Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night after withdrawing from the match at the end of the first set, but was adamant he made the right choice to succumb to the injury which has aggravated him since practice on Monday.
The 21-year-old returned to Melbourne Park yesterday afternoon after receiving scans which revealed an adductor longus tear to set the record straight and defend his decision to pull the pin on the clash against the world No.1.
"I think it's important for me to come out like this," Tomic said of the snap press conference.
"A lot of people showed up last night, you know, expecting a very good match. A lot of people paid their tickets. It's disappointing for that to happen.
"The form I was in, I was ready to challenge Rafa and unfortunately this happened. I felt like I got booed a little bit on court, which was pretty unfair.
"I just needed to get my side out, which is, you know, obviously the truth and it's important.
"I think I was misunderstood. Obviously they thought I was shaking Rafa's hand because he's too good and I'm forfeiting the match because I can't play against him.
"So I needed to say it was my leg. I don't think they quite understood that it was my leg.
"And after, when I started to sort of explain that with my hand signals, they sort of turned it around into an applause."
Despite avoiding serious injury, Tomic is unlikely to be fit for Australia's first Davis Cup tie on January 31 against the French on clay in France, with the injury to keep him out of action for one to three weeks.
Going up against Jo- Wilfried Tsonga, Richard Gasquet and Gilles Simon was always going to be a tough ask for Australia, but even Tomic insists it will be even more difficult without him.
"Right now [my chances are] probably not looking good, which is a shame," Tomic said.
"It's a very important time for us. You know, we've got to take on Gasquet and Tsonga on clay.
"If I'm not on the team, obviously Marinko [Matosevic] is going to probably have to step up and play.
"His Davis Cup record isn't that great, but he's going to have to change and work hard the next few weeks.
"But I will find out in the next five, six days and the team will be known then."
While Tomic didn't earn any admirers on Tuesday night, he insists he's misunderstood by the Australian public.
"I think everyone sort of looks at you differently. Being good, being talented, and being young is something, you know, that I had and have.
"Obviously I have had these issues in the past, but you've got to focus. You have got to learn how to handle it, I think."