Despite his millions and his sports cars, tennis star Bernard Tomic is a lot like the average Australian — when one of his workmates calls in sick, he assumes they must be faking.

Tomic dropped a classic mid-match sledge on fellow Australian Nick Kyrgios over the weekend, after Kyrgios called in sick for Australia’s Davis Cup tie with the USA.

Lleyton Hewitt was forced to make a short comeback from retirement to fill in for Kyrgios, who said he was ill with a virus.

But Tomic wasn’t buying what Kyrgios was selling, and on-court microphones caught him venting his frustration during the second set of his match against John Isner.

“Nick’s sitting down in Canberra. Bulls**t he’s sick,” Tomic can be heard saying.

“Two times he’s done it. Two times he’s faked it.”

Kyrgios, for his part, responded with a couple of snappy tweets.

So, if a ‘virus’ didn’t convince him, what excuse would Tomic have believed?

According to a study conducted last year by UK healthcare provider Benenden, Kyrgios’ downfall was that he just didn’t get specific enough.

The Benenden study involved 2,500 employers and employees, and tested which reasons for calling in sick they found most acceptable.

If Kyrgios had read this study, he would have seen the writing on the wall, as only 53.2 per cent of respondents felt a vague “sick bug” was a good enough reason to take the day off.

Instead, he should have gotten more detailed (and disgusting) with his excuse.

Vomiting topped the list of acceptable reasons to take the day off, with 73 per cent of respondents happy to take that one at face value.

Diarrhoea came in a close second at 71 per cent, so essentially, anything that will make your coworkers scream “too much information” is a real winner.

Sadly, stress is a complete non-starter, as far as sickie excuses go, even if it’s a completely valid reason. Only 19 per cent of participants accepted stress as an excuse for sick leave, while other mental health issues were accepted by just 16 per cent.

Certainly, you have to come up with some sort of specific excuse, because only six per cent of participants thought feeling “under the weather” with no specific symptoms was a good enough reason to stay home.

Of course, it’s not entirely surprising that Hewitt was forced to pick up the slack for Kyrgios — the same study found that absenteeism is most frequent among younger people, aged 18 to 35.

The most convincing excuses for taking a sick day

  1. Vomiting (72.9%)
  2. Diarrhoea (71.0%)
  3. Flu (58.1%)
  4. Sick bug (53.2%)
  5. A migraine (36.5%)
  6. Stress (19.0%)
  7. Mental health issues (16.9%)
  8. A head cold (11.4%)

Have you chucked a sickie recently? Unburden your conscience and get it off your chest in the comments below!