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January 21, 2015

Bernard Tomic


B. TOMIC/P. Kohlschreiber
6-7, 6-4, 7-6, 7-6
An interview with:

BERNARD TOMIC: I want to ask you a question. After this press conference, how long does it take to write the thing? You have to stay up till 3:00 or 4:00?

Q. We write while you're playing, and then we wait for you to tell us something and add it.
BERNARD TOMIC: (Laughter).

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Three breakers in four sets. A grinding win?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. I was really impressed with the level of tennis tonight. We were playing both pretty well. He was coming up with shots I've never seen before. Some shots, I don't know how they were going in. But I played good myself. So I was very happy.

Q. Your level of play seemed to be the best when you were down. In the third-set tiebreaker you won five in a row. You came up with big shots in the fourth as well. Was that something that was particularly pleasing for you?
BERNARD TOMIC: Tennis is a funny sport sometimes. You can be up winning, and all of a sudden it can change with one shot. I was losing those set points, I think, but I tried somehow to win the two points on my serve. It was 6-5 then. I thought, Go for it. He managed to miss that shot after I played a few rallies back. I can't complain. He was playing good. I was playing good. It was good tennis. I served very well, and that's what helped me a lot throughout this match for sure.

Q. Does having the Australian crowd help you along as well, with their support there for you?
BERNARD TOMIC: For sure. It's very motivating. Especially when you are down you always hear them. It's an amazing sport. You hear them in the back of your ear. You keep going and keep wanting to push. I love it. It's an amazing feeling. They get behind all the Australian players, not just myself. It's good to see. The support down here is huge. I'd like to thank the fans for coming today, for coming throughout the Open and supporting us Australians. It's huge for us. We seem to play good tennis on that.

Q. Might be a different feeling against Groth; two Aussies against each other.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, now it's the third round. I could be playing someone of a better rank for sure, but the draw's opened up. Gulbis lost to Thanasi after four or five match points, and now Sam took that opportunity. He played today I saw against Thanasi. It was a very tough match. He's improved a lot. I have to be ready. I know it's going to come at me, so I have to be ready. I think if I have a lot of service games of mine where I hold pretty comfortably it's going to put a lot of pressure on him. It's going to be tough tennis. He's improved a lot. It just shows -- he's winning a lot of matches now and he's fitter. It's a tough match, so I have to prepare a lot for this.

Q. There's a good chance against Groth a couple sets might go to a tiebreak. Have you had good preparation?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, but I'll try to break him before it goes to the tiebreaker. If it happens, tiebreaks are funny. One point changes the tiebreak. Like I said, Sam is playing well, he's fitter. I'm going to have to prepare as best as I can tomorrow and stuff. Two Australians playing in the third round, it doesn't happen like this very often, so this is a huge opportunity for one of us to get into the fourth round. Very big opportunity for myself.

Q. With the likes of Kyrgios and Kokkinakis on the scene, they're stealing the headlines. Is it easier for you not being under such a massive spotlight going into the tournament?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't look at that stuff anymore, you know. That's just stuff on paper. For me it's important training and winning matches like this. Sooner or later I'm going to get inside the top 40, top 30. I just have to work hard and play the tennis I'm playing, beating guys inside the top 20. I'm happy the way I'm playing. It's going to be interesting after the Australian Open. The next five months I don't have any points to defend. I can get inside the top 20 and then I can start choosing where I play. I have to work to get there. It's not going to be easy. I'm here now in Melbourne playing, and I'm happy with myself. Last year, after losing first round, every match I play is a plus, every match I win here.

Q. Last year you spoke about the demons of last year after the last win. Has something changed? Do you feel a different player from this time 12 months ago?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. I feel much fitter, much better movement. I move much better on court. For me it's helped me a lot, I think, the surgeries I had. People think I've gone down with my ability, but the surgeries I've had are probably only a few of the surgeries that help you move better. For example, me, I couldn't move before in my hips and my, you know, lower back. Now I've managed to get so much more range of movement and flexibility. For me it was a benefit for me for both hips. I'm happy I did it at the age of 21. I wasn't going to do it at the age of 25 and take 10 months to recover. I thought I'd get it out of the way. It was a good year last year. I can't complain. But now it's very motivating for me the next six months.

Q. Against Rafa, at 6-5 Tim gave him a serve because someone in the crowd interrupted him. Is that something you can expect from any opponent on tour?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I didn't see. I just saw the score when I finished. Just crazy. Everyone can play tennis. You have to respect everyone. I'm sure Tim played very good today. He had the chance to beat Rafa. Was probably only a few points away at one stage. Just shows you whether you're a qualifier or ranked outside of 100, everybody can play tennis. You have to respect your opponent and play one match at a time.

Q. In terms of sportsmanship, have you ever been in a match where someone conceded a point?
BERNARD TOMIC: What actually happened? I didn't see.

Q. Someone interrupted Rafa when he was serving at Love-30, 6-5. It was a second serve and he hit it in the net. Basically Tim asked the umpire to replay as if it's a first serve.

Q. Yeah.
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't know. I mean, the fans here in Melbourne, they get so behind the tennis. They love the tennis so much. I don't know. Maybe some people get drunk and decide to say something wrong. I'm sure there's those sort of people. That's what makes this tournament special. A lot of people, the fans, they enjoy it so much. It's a good atmosphere. They thrive on the tennis. They want to sort of interact sometimes. Maybe at the wrong times sometimes they do. But it's a tough situation. I'm sure the umpire would know how to handle it. I wouldn't know how to handle it.

Q. You signed 74 on the camera lens.
BERNARD TOMIC: I thought I'd do it for Nick. I pay respect to his family, so I did it. He's a good guy.

Q. How do you see your matchup with Sam? I think you were joking on TV saying you might serve and volley. How do you see your game matching up against his? Are you excited about that match?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's going to be a tough match. It's going to be good tennis. I'm going to be expecting what I'm expecting from Sam. He's going to be throwing a lot of stuff at me, coming forward, serve-volleying, and I have to focus on my serve. I'm serving very well the last few weeks. That's going to put more pressure on his serve. You know, obviously I'm going to try to use my experience against Sam. But it's going to be a tough match. I have to get ready. It's not easy. He's playing the tennis of his life. It's going to be interesting.

Q. Do you feel in the sort of form to make a big run here?
BERNARD TOMIC: Absolutely. I feel confident and stuff. I'm playing good. This is the tennis I've been waiting to play down here in Melbourne. I'm happy the way we're going. In round three now. I think when I was 18 I was in the third round; I think 19 I was fourth round; I think I made it third round. So for me getting in the third round for me after last season, I'm so happy. I try to push more wins.
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