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APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY


January 14, 2015


Bernard Tomic


SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

B. TOMIC/P. Kohlschreiber
6‑3, 6‑4


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  That seemed pretty quick and decisive.  Feel that way on court?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, it was very good.  I played the right tennis.  You know, even the first round win when I won I felt I could have done a few things better.
Went on court a little bit after that match for about 45 minutes to work on those thing, and today I think I did those things better.  I'm very happy with myself.
Now I'm looking forward to this quarterfinal.  I have a big chance now.  I have to play well.  It's not an easy player that I'm playing next, so I have to prepare as much as I can this next 16 hours or so.

Q.  Can you be more specific about the things you changed?  You said you went out and practiced a few things.  The way you approach a point or was it...
BERNARD TOMIC:  No, just the way I was returning.  Felt like I won pretty comfortably in the first round, but didn't return that good.  I needed to work on my returns if I had any chance today.
Did really well I think in that one‑hour slot I had after and pushed myself to stay on the court.¬† Today it really paid off.¬† I'm going to need it leading into tomorrow's match where it's going to come down to the way I return.

Q.¬† He's obviously a left‑hander and a big serve.¬† Does that present different problems?
BERNARD TOMIC:¬† For sure.¬† It's not easy playing him.¬† I think I lost twice already to him.¬† Maybe three times.¬† He's a very difficult player to play.¬† He serves very good and he's a left‑hander, so it's very tricky.
We both finished pretty late tonight, so it's now about recovering and getting back to feeling as good as I can until tomorrow's match.

Q.  You mentioned a few times now the need to start stronger and quick.  Is that something you didn't do in the past so well or...
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, I felt like from the start sometimes a little bit slow.  I get into those matches where I don't really proceed and play the right tennis in the first few games, and sometimes it costs me.
I've come to learn that I need to start from that first point and confident in my shots and be very warm and focused from the start.  These last two matches I did do it, been executing very well my shots and game plan, so it was very good.

Q.  Five seeds fell out today.  The draw is really opening up.  Does that excite you or stimulate you?
BERNARD TOMIC:  I mean, it's funny.  It can make me feel better, but, you know, first round here in the tournament is like a final.  Every player can play.  You can play the first one, two rounds and have tough players on paper and have an easier seed in the quarters, semis.
You don't know how other people are playing and preparing.  Really a first round anywhere at this level is like a final, so you have to respect every match.  That's the way you're going to win more matches, I think.

Q.  You take more motivation knowing you're the only Aussie standing?
BERNARD TOMIC:  I didn't even look at that.  Yeah, I guess so.  I just take a lot of motivation from this tournament and what it's given me in the past.  The opportunity to play for the title last year and losing to Juan and winning in 2013, so for me I feel so comfortable on this court.
I'm going to get out tomorrow and try and win again.

Q.  Do you think people are starting to talk about you again?  Last four months has been all about Nick.  Do you feel it's starting to come back on you?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Look, it's tough to say.  Obviously I was in the spotlight so long time and obviously Nick came up and was playing very good.  He's a good player.  Obviously a little bit went to him.
Took a little bit more pressure off me and I could work on my things and I wasn't really hit on that much.  Felt good in one way.
At the end of the day, obviously we're doing as best as we can on working hard now to prove as much as I can now.  I've come to realize the only thing I want to do is improve, and that's going to win more matches and make me a better player.

Q.  You reached the final here last year, but do you feel you're playing better now than 12 months ago?
BERNARD TOMIC:  For sure I feel I'm playing better.  Hitting the ball better and moving a lot better.  I'm a lot stronger, and this is a benefit for me.
I'm going to put all this into the game plan when the Australian Open starts.  That's where I want to perform my best and do as best as I can.  You know, it's a tournament that I've always done well in the past, so I am really looking forward to the Australian Open as well.

Q.  Your shot selection generally is something that's worked really well for you and confused a lot of your opponents.  Is that something that you think about consciously, or is it something that comes naturally?
BERNARD TOMIC:  I think naturally.  Everyone has got their game and style.  I think you can't change that these days.  If someone plays differently, you got to stick with what you have, what feels comfortable.  Everyone has their own style.
You really work and build as much as you can on what you have.  It's tough these days to say hit the ball there, hit the ball there.  Everything has to come natural for you, I feel, on the tennis court.
It's always been natural for me with selection of shots and where I'm placing the ball and hitting it.  So maybe that's why it is a little bit more difficult for other players and opponents.

Q.  You seem to have also added a little extra dimension of aggression in your game.  You've always been famous for the placement and spins.  In the last few weeks, improving forehand winners and moving really well.  That something that's come naturally to add to your game as well, going after the shots more?
BERNARD TOMIC:  For sure.  I mean, look, if I want to stay where I am in the world and be 30, 40, 60, 40, I can always do that with my talent and the way I play.  If I want to be up there in the top 5 in the world, I have to be aggressive and build my game to move in the court and really be an aggressive player with a big serve.
I'm working on this now, to really take time away from players.  I think the sooner you get off the court the better it is for recovery.  I've come to learn you have to get off that court as quick as you can to recover for the next match and save as much energy as you can.

Q.  You mean that you're trying to shorten the matches by hitting more aces and winners?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah.  I mean, if you have an opportunity you have to go for it, take it.  You have to realize if you want to be winning Grand Slams in the future it's going to come down fitness and strengths.
You want to save as much time as you can in the earlier rounds.  This is what I've come to learn, that fitness and time on court is a big thing.  You have to build your game on what I can do, and my strengths, I think, need to be off the serve, playing aggressive, smart at times, but being aggressive player that can always come forward.
That's what I'm practicing last few months, being able to step up and play the right tennis.  It's coming good, so hopefully will continue.

Q.  One more thing.  Your hips tonight, were they feeling good?  Were you 100%?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, I am.  I mean, I'm not 100% still yet.  A lot more I can improve.  I haven't had problems since the rehab stages.  I haven't had one problem, felt nothing.  I did do the hip surgeries with one of the best guys in Australia, and I'm very happy I did that.  No problems with that.  Very, very happy now.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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