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January 25, 2015

Bernard Tomic


6-2, 7-6, 6-2
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. At the start did his aggression catch you by surprise those first couple games?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, he did. He played very good from the start. It was tough for me. He was hitting that ball so well, like he always does. Felt like he got that edge over me in the first few games. That's what happens when you play a player like Tomas. You have to be ready. If you don't, you know, hold him in that first set, he gets a bit of a front foot and it becomes difficult. You know, it was not a bad match for me, but he was on top of me for the whole match. He's a very good player, so I can't complain. It was not a bad match for me.

Q. Are there times where you have to say the guy was too good on the day?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, he was a stronger; he was ready; he was playing better. If I would have played better, served better, might have had a better chance maybe after that second set. Who knows? But, look, he's been there four, five, six years in the top seven, eight. He's an amazing player. When he's playing good, you cannot do nothing. You just have to stick in the match and hopefully turn it around. Today he was just playing well and he was going for his shots. There was not a lot I could do.

Q. How do you assess this campaign?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I think it was okay. Probably didn't play my best tennis this last week, but it was solid. I'm very happy with the performance this week. Now I push the next few months. I have a lot of tournaments. I'm going to Memphis, Delray Beach, Acapulco, so many tournaments. Till Wimbledon I don't defend nothing, so for me the goal is to get to top 20 soon.

Q. Is Davis Cup on the agenda?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, for sure it is. After Acapulco. It's going to be big, as well. We're playing Czech. I don't think Tomas is playing. We don't know what the story is there, so we'll see. There are a lot of points on offer as well in the Davis Cup, so it's going help towards my ranking. You know, I take everything in the last few weeks and use it now to prepare for, you know, tournaments in the States and try to improve my ranking even more.

Q. Thought you improved a lot in the second set. How deflating was it to lose the tiebreak?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, emotionally after that it was so tough. I said to myself, Look, if you want to win this match, you have to play three very good sets now from being two sets to love up. [Sic.] He's a very good frontrunner. When he's on the front foot and if he's winning and comfortable, it's tough to turn it around against him. I watched him play so many matches against top players where he's up and, you know, they can't do anything. It felt like that today. I tried to hang in there and stuff, but he just kept going for his shots even more. He felt free, that he couldn't even miss. He's been working hard, I heard, the last few months. He's improved a lot. He's probably one player that I think hasn't won a slam that should have won a couple. He's a very, very good player.

Q. Last time you made it to the fourth round a few years ago you played every single match on Rod Laver of your four. This time you didn't play once. Is that at all strange to you?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I spoke to a few people about it. Lleyton as well. I think the scheduling was like ridiculous this year. Like not just from my side, but for many player's. I don't know who was in charge of the schedule. Really, some of the matches I saw, it was just like, Wow.

Q. Every day you keep expecting to be on there and you never were?
BERNARD TOMIC: I didn't mind, but some of the other matches I saw I was like, What the hell?

Q. Anything in particular that jumped out?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't know. You'll have to ask Craig Tiley. That's the guy organizing everything. Apparently he's the best.

Q. Kyrgios hasn't got on? Rod Laver yet.
BERNARD TOMIC: Ask Craig Tiley. He's a good guy. From what I heard in the locker room, and not just myself, like the scheduling was a bit funny. I'm not going to complain from my side, but on behalf of the people I talked to, they say it as well. It's not just me saying it. You guys have seen, as well.

Q. It has been a topic of conversation with players too, because and has been with media.
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't know. If I would have run the schedule, I would have made it interesting.

Q. This particular campaign, from this side of the fence the public perception of you seems to have increased. How have you seen it from your side of the fence?
BERNARD TOMIC: It felt very good the last few weeks, the support in Australia. I've been playing very good. I'm happy on court. That's the main thing. Enjoying tennis. If you enjoy the sport, respect the game, the game will give back to you. I've learnt a lot the last few weeks. Helps me a lot. I think after this tournament I'm inside the top 45, top 40. Now I work the next one month very hard to get inside the top 25 and then push to the top 20. That's my goal. After I achieve that, there's new goals for me. I'm very much looking forward to the next one, two months.

Q. You spoke a few times the last week about cracking the top 20. How soon do you want to do that? Is that a short-term goal? Is that a 2015 goal?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it's not so far away now, is it? Probably after this tournament, I don't know, about 20 spots. I don't know where I'll be, 40 or something. If I keep pushing, play a few good tournaments now in Memphis, Delray Beach, 250s, maybe win a title, and who knows, I'm inside already. So it's something I have to work hard, make points, and keep consistent each week. If I'm playing the way I'm playing right now, keep working, in three, four months I could be inside the top 30, top 20. Just have to work and continue playing the way I'm playing.

Q. You enjoy working with Lleyton. How important is that also in the Davis Cup environment?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's huge. You know, probably one of the most respected guys out there. I respect Lleyton so much, not just what he's achieved but as a person. He's a great guy. He gives back to a lot of us. If he can help in any area, me, for example, Thanasi, Nick, it's very good to see that. He's a true champion. I get along with him so well. Now obviously we're going to focus on the Davis Cup we have in Czech. It's an opportunity for us if Tomas doesn't play. We're going to be searching -- well, not me, Pat and new guys who are playing on the team. Before that I have got a few tournaments. I have to focus on these tournaments.

Q. How much of an advantage bonus would it be for you if Tomas didn't play?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, huge. It makes a big difference. I think if he doesn't play, then you have lots of guys like Rosol, you have Vesely winning tournaments now, and the doubles team is strong. They're still strong. But if Tomas doesn't play, it's a big benefit for us, for sure.
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