The Australian hit 25 unforced errors compared to Zverev’s 14 and appeared to lose interest in the match midway through the second set, strolling around the court without any sense of urgency.
He called for the trainer at one point with a back complaint, a move he openly admitted was an effort to change the momentum of the match, but it made little difference to the outcome.
And Tomic, a junior US and Australian Open champion without a single semi-final appearance at a Grand Slam in his professional career, was the first to criticise his own preparation for the tournament and in his career generally.
“I know I have to work hard. For sure I don’t do the right work,” Tomic said with startling candour.
“I don’t do the right work”
“You know, you need to be super fit and you have to enjoy it and you have to travel a lot. I have experienced a lot until 24.
“I know I have another 10 years to go.
“We all work for one thing. And I believe, you know, you have to respect the sport.
“But I think I don’t respect it enough, yes, because I, you can say, super talented.”
Tomic is currently ranked No59 in the world but reached a position as high as 17 last year and has earned more than $5million in prize money in his career.
The 24-year-old has three ATP World Tour titles to his name and admitted that he does not feel success is enough of a motivator for him any more.
“To be honest with you, I see, for example, Zverev winning Rome, and achieving, you know, I have won titles in my career, I have made finals, a bunch of them,” Tomic added.
“So I feel holding a trophy or, you know, doing well, it doesn’t satisfy me anymore.