Bernard Tomic: “I Consider Myself Very Smart And Tactical”
The story thus far at the 2012 Australian Open has been local favorite Bernard Tomic. The Australian captured the nation Monday with a rousing two set comeback over Fernando Verdasco in the first round. On Wednesday, the 19-year-old sleak-swinger confirmed that win by ousting American Sam Querrey in four sets.
Tomic now plays the “weird” Alexandr Dolgopolov and if he wins he might very clash with Roger Federer on Sunday in Melbourne.
Bernard spoke to the media after his win over Querrey:
Q. Came out serving very hard. What do you think you were able to do to turn it around after that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, very, very difficult to really serve. It was tough because he was hitting his forehand well. And, yeah, not only getting his serve back was hard, he was hitting the forehand big. You know, it’s tough when you have to get the serve back into the backhand court and always end there and not just get it back into play. I think I didn’t play as good as I did in the first, but all credit to him. That first set was really, really good serving from him.
Q. Did you sort of do anything technically in particular to change that and get the win?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. I think I was guessing the wrong way in the first set, and second set I started guessing the right way and, you know, he started missing a lot more first serves. It gave me chances to break him a few more times. The third and fourth set he was serving well, as well.
Q. Are you getting so comfortable on Rod Laver Arena that it might be a bit of a disappointment if you might have to play a match somewhere else in this championship?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I’m getting comfortable after three or four years of losing on that court. (Laughter.) It’s finally ‑‑ you know, I thought I was going to lose that first round, so I thought I was going to lose another match and have to wait another year to win a match. I was happy to win that first round. Now to win the second and play, you know, well, and come back from another set behind was really good.
Q. You played in daytime in the heat, and then you played tonight, cooler. How do you adjust your game to allow for the different conditions?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it’s very difficult playing in the heat and playing at night. Totally different ball game. I think, you know, during the day you’ve got to survive. You’re not only playing the player, you’re playing the heat as well. At night it’s a bit slower and bit colder and a bit more wind, so it’s a bit more difficult. But you got to learn to adapt, and a whatever you get thrown at you you have to learn to deal with it.
Q. What advantage is it knowing you’re going to play 7:00 on an evening schedule?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, you get the timing right is very good. You know, you know when you’re scheduled to play so it’s a good thing. You prepare well pretty much all day for the start at 7:00.
Q. How did it feel yesterday after the marathon? Pretty good?
BERNARD TOMIC: Um, when I woke up I was feeling a little bit tired. You know, yesterday during the day I tried to recover, which, you know, was all right. I woke up feeling, you know, 80, 90% in the morning, so today I knew by tonight I’d be ready to go.
Q. Alexandr has give you trouble in the past. What exactly is it that you have trouble with him?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, no, I’ve played him a few times. I think, you know, last year in Sydney I won 7‑6, 0‑6, 6‑2, and same the story in Shanghai. Third round last year I won 7‑5 and lost 6‑1, 6‑1.
So it’s very tough and weird scorelines. He’s a very difficult player to play. I think he doesn’t like my game. I don’t like his. So it’s very difficult. He is a very good player, and a lot of people struggle with him. All I’ve got to do is smart things when I play him. I think the last few times I’ve played him I didn’t do the right thing after winning the first set.
Q. In that Shanghai match you seemed so frustrated that you just kind of seemed to go away in it. Did you feel that way? How do you not do that this time?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, well, the funny thing is I was playing well in Shanghai. Then it started raining and we got moved indoors, and we got moved into a lightning‑fast court with no space behind to move. It was very difficult. And playing a player that’s very weird in a weird court when it was supposed to be on an outside court was difficult for me. I won that first set there but, he seems to play good tennis and bad tennis for a set. So it’s very difficult. You have to just hold your game against him and hope for the best. You can play really good and you can’t do nothing sometimes.
Q. Do you consider yourself a streaky player at all?
BERNARD TOMIC: I consider myself very smart and tactical, so it’s a good thing, you know. I know where to get balls ‑‑ balls to the opponents, but I don’t ‑‑ like where I can create, you know, good shots for me. As opposed to him, I think it’s a very, very, you know, he’s very unco and very weird to play, and I’m sure a lot of players say the same thing about him.
Q. Jelena Jankovic said you two had talked in Brisbane about playing mixed doubles here, but I don’t think you signed up for it. What happened there?
BERNARD TOMIC: Did I? I didn’t know about that.
Q. You didn’t talk to her in Brisbane?
BERNARD TOMIC: I talked to her. Maybe I forgot to sign in. She’ll kill me for that. She told me to sign in. I didn’t sign in. Whoa, thanks for reminding me. (Laughter.) Gee, I knew I forgot something the last few weeks.
Q. You said the other day that you had the feeling you could take the match whenever you needed to. Did you have that feeling today?
BERNARD TOMIC: I did after the second set. The first set was very strange. He played very good, and I started questioning myself if he’s going to keep serving and playing like this whether I have a chance.
But I got lucky, and he didn’t serve as good in the second. He gave me confidence.
Q. Would you prefer a day match for the next one?
BERNARD TOMIC: I’d prefer night, the slower conditions, against him. We’ll see.
Q. Can you just compare how you’re feeling compared to this time last year?
BERNARD TOMIC: One year older. (Laughter.) You know, it’s the same feeling, same, you know, round. You know, it’s no Nadal, so I think it’s okay. Better chance than last year.
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