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September 3, 2015

Bernard Tomic

New York, NY, USA

B. TOMIC/L. Hewitt

6-3, 6-2, 3-6, 5-7, 7-5

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Huge match point that you saved. How big was that?
BERNARD TOMIC: It was a big point. You know, I felt like I had the racquet, the match at my hands after the first set, second set, and third set being up 2-Love. I was feeling really good. I was playing very good. He was not responding to my game because I was playing big.

After that, when he got on the roll, I felt like it was my match twice. Especially serving for it at 5-3 in the fourth, it was my match on the racquet. I messed it up. I messed up a few matches this year like this.

After he had the match on his racquet. I played the right tennis at this moment. I had two match points I was down. I went for it.

But believe me, this year, all the match points, I had like five matches where I had three match points, four match points. If I could have used all them now, I would have been top 15 for sure. But for one match it happened to me, no?

Q. Lleyton hoped you might grow as a player getting out of a match like that. Do you think the same?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. It's not easy. I knew from the point when he was coming back, it was not going to be easy because I kept thinking about watching his matches in the past, how he got out of them. Then I was in the moment, in the position where I was winning and he was starting to get back. For me it was not easy. I was thinking about all the matches I watched him coming back. For me it was tough after to play.

Q. When you called for the trainer at 6-5, you looked like you were in a lot of pain.

Q. Was it cramping?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't know what it was. It felt like something like that in the leg. In moments, in the big points, I was trying to do stuff, I was trying to stay in the point with him long. In that period of time I was feeling something in my leg. It was tough. He was feeling it as well. It was a very emotional match for both of us.

Q. Did it cross your mind at all during the match, Lleyton's final tournament, how special this match was?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it was. It was very tough for me before the match. Then during the match, you know, I freed up a little bit. I was playing very good. But it was the first time for me where it was an Australian crowd, but it was all for Lleyton. Not in a bad way for me, but everyone wanted for him, the best US Open, you know, maybe a victory. But it was a tough position because I'm used to the Australian crowd being on my side.

Now they weren't on my side, but they were more encouraging for him. It was okay. It was tough. It was his last US Open. If I was a spectator I would be in the same position for sure.

Q. How are you feeling physically? How do you look at the matchup with Richard?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I spoke to him in the locker room. He was, as well, very tired. He was feeling some problems out there. Everyone is feeling problems.

I think my record is 4-1. I beat him in a very important one, which is Wimbledon, third round, 2013. Every match we had in the past was very close. I've learned a lot when I played him. He's an amazing player. He's not easy to play.

I have to take each match that I played against him and use it for this third-round match.

Q. Did you share a word with Lleyton at the net?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I did. Yeah, it was not easy. Like I said, the match was very tough from my position, very tough for everyone. It's his last US Open. In this situation, it was, for me, tough. I should have won the match a few times. I had it on my racquet and I messed up.

But then being down, the situation in the fifth set, somehow finding a way, I played the right tennis.

The moment when I hit that forehand, everything was amazing for me. I was happy to win. Unfortunately for him, you know, he's a legend, not just to me, to everyone in the world, you know. I'll always look up to him. I learned a lot from him.

I'm happy we had a match like this today.

Q. He was saying you and Cruz get on well. Sitting here, did you feel bad?
BERNARD TOMIC: I did. No, it's not an easy position to be in. He helps me a lot the last few years. He's becoming so much closer to me now. This match, this position in this match was not easy for me. I want to win. On the other side he wants to win. The crowd are cheering him on. Then I feel, you know, bad. I'm winning, playing very well.

He started playing very, very good tennis to come back. Then I started thinking more. It was an amazing match, though, for sure.

Q. When you're in that fifth set, you're down, the crowd is behind Lleyton, you dig deep and turn it round, what is going through your head? Serena Williams talks about taking it one point at a time. How do you work through that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Me, no, I think if you're in a situation and you're losing, like obviously I got broken at 3-All, or 4-3, you have to give it a shot and go for it. Whereas before I switched off when I was younger. I think now my approach when I'm losing is just go for it, you know. It's different. Just go for it. Be a little bit more aggressive. That's what you need to do.

You can't play defensive on these big points, being down in the final set. You have to go for it. That's what I did today. I came out of a few matches this year like this because I did the right thing in these positions.

Q. How great is it to break the second round of the last few years?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's very good. Four rounds of second round since I was 18. I'm happy now. My fifth year. I'm in the third round for the first time. It's very good for me. I have a chance now to make the fourth round. It's not going to be easy, but I have the opportunity. I have to prepare as best as I can.

Q. Can you tell us what you and Lleyton said to each other at the net?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think I said, Why did you have to come back? I just said, Why did you have to? It's too good.

In my mind, I thought he won the match. You know, it was very emotional for us. He wished me the best of luck. I'm very good friends with him. For me, it's not easy to see that.

Q. Up two sets to love, the break in the third, things started to slip away, what were you feeling like at that stage? How anxious were you getting?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. I knew the situation could be very difficult after I started thinking about it more. So for me was tough to play in a situation when he broke me back in the third set.

I knew it was going to be like that. Then the crowd started more. I was thinking about that, not thinking about my game. After that, you know, I had the opportunity in the fourth where I was losing. Then served for the match. New balls I had, too, on my racquet. He made every return.

I think, you know, he deserved to win that game. Then after, he obviously won the fourth set. But had the match on the racquet. I was playing very comfortable. But it's something I need to work on. Something I need to work on, being in front and finishing matches.

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