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January 23, 2015

Bernard Tomic


B. TOMIC/S. Groth
6-4, 7-6, 6-3
An interview with:

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Seemed to go exactly as you planned: nicely.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I played okay. I didn't play that good, but I won. I'm happy I won in the end. It was good for me.

Q. Tomas Berdych next. Do you take some kind of confidence out of beating him on hard court Kooyong a few years ago?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah's that was like Kooyong. I don't know. That was like Kooyong. I can't even remember what happened. I do take confidence, but last few times were like a very tough match. I learnt a lot, so it's an opportunity I have to play Tomas. We played twice before. He's a very, very good player. He's been at the top for many years. I have to come to this match to play my tennis, and then I have a chance. Yeah.

Q. Can you elaborate on why you said you didn't play that well?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I couldn't play. Today was like not tennis, it was just return of serve. So it was like try and get the serve back. I was getting the return back pretty good. I was happy. It was not tennis. I would love to play tennis today, but he was serving well. So it was just like return, get the return back, and then after we see.

Q. Does that mean more practice tomorrow to get back in the groove?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. I'm hitting with Lleyton tomorrow, which is very good for me. Talk to Rusty to me about playing Tomas. Yeah, I'm excited for this next round. Targeting to win, and we'll see. We'll see.

Q. Did you get the sense the crowd was on your side or either his side or not wanting to see either of you lose?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't know. I wasn't really listening. Honestly, I heard a lot of people. I was focusing on my serve, my return. I was focusing on where is he going to serve. I didn't hear anything on the side. Loved to have heard what they were saying, but I completely was not listening to anything.

Q. How big an opportunity do you sense this is with Roger going out today. Is it coming together for you?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's tennis, man. Everyone is playing. Everyone's trying to win. It's not easy, man. Everyone is here for a reason. Even against today against Sam was a tough match. I had to come and play as best I can. It's going to be difficult. He's serving ridiculous, playing the tennis of his life the last few months. Everyone in this position of the tournament is ready to play the Grand Slam. Obviously with a few rounds, I think you have to scramble. You have to try to find a way to win. I saw Roger lost, which is a big upset, but everyone can play tennis. It's not that big a thing; everyone can play.

Q. You weren't happy with your game as much today as you would have liked, but you dropped a set in the tournament so far. Overall you must be pretty pleased.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, well today was not really gonna be tennis. It was just like return. I would have loved to play tennis today with long rallies. It would have been good. But today was just return. After return, if he gets it over, makes the volley, and look for the pass. That was my plan. I worked on that yesterday and the day before. I did good today. I'm happy.

Q. Did you ask Lleyton to hit with you tomorrow or did he come up to you and offer?
BERNARD TOMIC: I asked him. He said yes. Very nice of him. It's good to see he supports everyone. Not just myself, but Nick. He's an amazing character, an amazing guy. I respect him so much. I'm sure everybody respects Lleyton a lot. For me, if I hit with him tomorrow there's a big chance, a big opportunity. It's going to be good fun. I'm looking forward to this fourth round on Sunday.

Q. How pleased are you to have responded in the tiebreak? You were down a couple mini breaks. In the Kohlschreiber game you turned around a big second-set tiebreak.
BERNARD TOMIC: It was tough. That tiebreaker was tough. It changed the whole match. From then I knew straightaway that I was confident. There's not a lot he could do. He wasn't really getting close to my serve at all. From then, after that tiebreaker, maybe I would have liked to have finished it not double-faulting on that 7-6 or 8-7 point. But for me it was a big tiebreaker and changed the whole match from there.

Q. What makes Tomas Berdych such a great player?
BERNARD TOMIC: You know, he's been many, many years, last three or four years, inside the top six. It's not easy to play him. You have to play well. You have to serve well, use your opportunity when it comes. He hits the ball so fricking hard. It's a big difference to any other player. But, you know, I felt like I used the matches I made in the past from him and take it into this match as much as I can. I'll prepare as much as I can. There's opportunity for me. So we'll see.

Q. Do you feel you're serving well in matches so far? Your stats are up there with the leaders so far.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I probably didn't serve as good today. I served good today, but not as good as the last few matches. It's something I worked on. Yeah, it's coming okay, I think. Still I need to improve a lot of things. So, yeah, I'm going to work.

Q. You talked in Brisbane after the Nishikori loss saying you wanted to start coming 50/50 with these top guys. Is that something you think about coming into the Berdych match?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. It's a player that's been at the top for so long. Probably a player that should have won a few majors at least. He's very tough to play. I have to come out playing good tennis, using the crowd. That's going to be my opportunity. I have to play well, relaxed, go for my shots. I know I lost the last two times in tough four sets on grass. Maybe hard court is going to be different. We'll see.

Q. Do you feel there is a bit more expectation on you, a bit more pressure?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, not really. I don't have any pressure anymore. For me, you know, I do what I need to do. I sat down the last few weeks and said, I want to remain inside the top 50, 60 until after the Australian Open. Now I am looking after this tournament somewhere in the 40s. I'm going to try and win. I'm very confident. A huge plus for the next six months, so yeah.
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