Bernard Tomic Interview
Australian Open - January 20
Second round win over Feliciano Lopez
Q. You must be happy with that. How did it feel out there?
BERNARD TOMIC: Great. I mean, you know, that feeling when I won was unbelievable. It's the first time I've been in the third round. I've been playing some good tennis. I'm really happy with myself.
Q. What's going through your head now? What are you thinking about? Dare to dream about the next step, which is a pretty big one?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I'm looking on the draw right now. I can't believe that I'm playing him. What an opportunity it is to play him, in a third round as well. It's a dream come true. Look, I've got nothing to lose.
Q. You're on home court, the confidence must be getting you through? Playing with a lot of confidence, how are you feeling?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm hitting the ball great. My confidence is up there, especially after two matches. I played a left hander before I played him, that's always good. But confidence wise I'm hitting the ball great, I'm hitting good, serving good. I can put confidence now in this next round.
Q. What would you say has improved the most in your game in the past months or year?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm definitely physically much stronger and fitter. I remember last year when I played a first round, even against a qualifier, I wasn't feeling too good in the second round, feeling tired.
But here when I played today, I was feeling fresh and energetic. Even today after the win, I feel good right now. That's what I'm going to need against Nadal on Saturday.
Q. Can you talk about the way you're practicing, your workout? Did you do something special?
BERNARD TOMIC: I've been training up in Gold Coast. A lot more physical stuff, it's paying off. Pushing my body to the limits. That's what I need for me to be physically strong. I've got the right tennis to play tennis, I just need to get physically stronger. It's sort of balancing out, so I can see it on court. Once you're fitter, you're mentally strong, everything is better on court.
Q. You were very composed in the tiebreakers. What was your strategy going into each tiebreaker?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, the first tiebreak, you know, I was up serving for the first set I think 5 3. I didn't want to push it to a tiebreak. He played some good tennis to break me. I played really good in the tiebreak in the first few points and got off to a lead.
That second set, I don't think I should have won that one, but I stayed in there and fought back and I got the break. That tiebreak I played was pretty good, the second set.
Q. You seemed to handle the pressure really well. Certainly today you did. What about the pressure coming now, you're the last Australian male left in the Australian Open?
BERNARD TOMIC: There's a lot of pressure out there. I'm just an open guy. I don't have those things to worry about. I don't feel pressure. It's more nerves that I'm going to be feeling now when I play next. But I think I'll settle down a bit in a day or so.
Q. Is it excitement or nervousness?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's excitement, that's what it is. To get this opportunity the first time in my life, it's different. It's an opportunity that I'm going to take, I think.
Q. For those of us who don't know you so well, how did you develop your style? Did you ever feel pressure to change it, hit the ball hard more of the time than you do?
BERNARD TOMIC: Look, the way I play, I catch a lot of guys out with not a lot of power. My strengths are, you know, I can find players' weaknesses really quickly. That's what I've always been good at when I was young.
I can hit the ball hard, but I don't do it a lot of the time. That's sort the not my game, playing hard. But, you know, I like to play against players, make 'em miss sort of thing.
Q. Did you feel that pressure to change your game growing up?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. I got in the habit when I was playing young playing funky shots. It sort of pays off now.
Q. What are your expectations against Rafa?
BERNARD TOMIC: Oh, well, I don't think he's lost a Grand Slam since last Australia. I think that's what anyone thinks when you step out against a player like that. You don't have nothing to lose. But I'm not going to go and win this match if I go out there and play not to lose. I've got to play, you know, to win.
Q. You obviously believe you can win?
BERNARD TOMIC: Oh, I believe so. I believe so. I mean, you know, it's an opportunity that I get. He's the world No. 1. I'll just have a go.
Q. What kind of weaknesses can you identify in his game?
BERNARD TOMIC: There's not much weaknesses (laughter).
I don't think he'll like my game. I think he'll like the players that give him a lot of time, a lot of rally shots. I think the way I mix it up, he's not going to like. But who knows.
Q. The crowd may even be a factor now. Do you feel the Australian public has embraced you or are embracing you as a player?
BERNARD TOMIC: Look, the crowds, it's totally different down here in Australia. I think they motivate me even more. It's an unbelievable feeling when you hear them in the back of your brain when you're playing before a point, a big point. You get this energy from them. That's what I feed off of. I love that, playing in Australia with the crowd. It's a true feeling.
Q. You're going to be playing on Saturday, probably Saturday night, probably Rod Laver Arena. What do you think about that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I was expecting Court 14, but... (Laughter).
I don't like night matches. No, it's an opportunity. Even if I played in the morning against him at 5:00, I'll take it.
Q. Is this something that dreams are made of?
BERNARD TOMIC: It is. It is. It's going to be a tough next 24 hours. You know, a lot of things are going to be flying through my head. But I dream that it happens once, and hopefully there's a lot more in my career.
Q. What did Feliciano López say to you at the net after the game?
BERNARD TOMIC: Good game.
Q. Any words of encouragement?
BERNARD TOMIC: He just said, Good game. He knew as well that I was going to play some tennis that he didn't like. I played with him before and hit. He knew it was going to be a tough game. I got lucky in the first tiebreak.
Q. You mentioned not liking playing night matches. If it is at night, what are your plans for Saturday?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, uhm, you know, I sort of got the experience last year, finishing early in the morning. But I've got nothing to lose. So win or lose, I'm going to take this opportunity to play at night against the world No. 1, playing not to lose, playing to win.
Q. Nadal said in his press conference that to relax he might go to the aquarium. Might have to do something like that before he plays you. What are your plans?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'll go to the aquarium, too (laughter).
I'll go to the zoo or something, some bungee jumping or something like that. No, I'll definitely do something to take my mind off of it as much as I can so it all sort of fades away a bit.
Q. There will be a lot of hype about this terrific result, then you're going to play Rafa. How are you going to be able to keep away from it all and keep focused?
BERNARD TOMIC: Right now it's a bit funny for me. But I'll sort of put my brain aside and say, Look, you know, I've got to play tennis like another match. I know it's going to be important. There's going to be a lot of people watching. My job's just to relax and play tennis.
Q. What is it about the night matches that you don't like?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, uhm, I'm so used to going to sleep like at 9, 10. So when you stay up till like 2, it's a bit difficult.
I'm going to go to sleep late tonight and tomorrow.
Q. If you're still playing at 2 a.m., deep in a fifth set, do you think you have a shot on Saturday night?
BERNARD TOMIC: Look, to play a night match like that, I've got the experience of last year. I'm sure he's got more experience than me. But, uhm, like I say, I got nothing to lose. When I step on the court, I'm going to play to win. If that takes me good, we'll see.
Q. Can you talk a little bit about your childhood. I read you were born in Germany. Do you speak German?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I speak Croatian. My parents have a Croatian background. And German, I speak a little bit. Not fluently. I moved out of there when I was young. It's tough for me to learn. Yeah, I speak two languages.
Q. When did you move?
BERNARD TOMIC: When I was about three I moved to Australia.
Q. Was the wild card thing extra motivation, to prove that you were worth it, deserved it?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yes. I mean, I'm thankful to get the opportunity. When I got it, look, I'm now in the third round of a Grand Slam. I think the next nine months, 10 months where I can improve on my game and maybe not have to receive wild cards. Who knows. I'm lucky Australia has a wild card they give in a Grand Slam and I'm a part of it, so I'm really happy.