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January 25, 2016

Bernard Tomic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

A. MURRAY/B. Tomic

6-4, 6-4, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What do you take out of a performance like that tonight when you obviously stretched him in the latter stages there?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it was very close the whole match. I just felt like I was very uncomfortable from the start. He broke me first game. Yeah, it was just uncomfortable the end.

Was a tough and close match on paper. I felt like I just didn't get that momentum of holding serve. There were too many breaks in the first set and second set either way.

I just felt like I didn't serve as good as I'd like to. But he does return a lot better than any player I faced here in the Australian Open. So it's tough serving as well when you know you have that momentum coming back in an unbelievable returner.

I just felt like, yeah, it was a very close match, but unfortunately I couldn't capitalize. I can't say that word. I've got a lolly in my mouth. I just felt I couldn't get on top of my service games. And, yeah, he was very solid the whole match.

Q. Do you feel you're getting closer? The scoreboard every time you play him suggests that.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. I think it's strange when you look. I mean, last time in Glasgow I felt like I played all right, as well, and it was 5-3-3; now it was 4-6-4. Everything was close, but I didn't play the tennis I needed to play to win.

Obviously he didn't let me. He changed the ball, mixed it up, was serving very well. It was close. Everything is close against these top few players. I know I'm there.

I wish Andy the best of luck. He's an amazing champion, Grand Slam winner. He has a huge, huge chance here. I wish him the best of luck in the tournament.

Q. Looking back on the match, is there much you would change in hindsight?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I would focus more a little bit on serving. But I think, you know, I've been serving so good the past month, I knew, you know, at one point I'd start to miss more first serves.

I felt like with Andy, with that pressure of his returns, I couldn't keep up the momentum. There were so many breaks. It frustrated me; frustrated him as well. He managed to get on top of the first few sets. I tried as much as I could in the end.

I knew I was very far away from winning, but I kept fighting. Had a chance to win that third set. Was very, very close. Came down to one, two points.

I really do wish Andy the best. He plays David now in the quarters. It's going to be an amazing match.

Q. Because he's so solid and consistent, does he make you end up going for more?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. When you play, he's got the balls coming back. He's so physical. He's on top of every ball. It's not like playing other guys 10, 15 in the world, my level. It's a different player and athlete.

He's just fighting for every ball. He's on balance and he's prepared for every ball. He gets so many balls back. It becomes so frustrating. In positions where normally other players can't get it back, he gets it back. It forces you to go for more and forces you to overthink.

You don't feel comfortable against these guys in these positions playing these players, even like Novak and Andy. Their defense is just amazing.

Q. Are you happy with how you dealt with the match mentally?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, actually I am. I'm very, very pleased. Was tough, you know, being two sets to love down. It was close. Just felt like one, two points changed it. Looking at the scoreboard, 6-4, 6-4 down, I was like, Oh, no, this is going to be a long match if I need to win this.

I was trying everything to stay in that set. It was close. Came down to one, two points. I missed a few forehands which I don't normally miss, which sucks, but I can't take that back.

Yeah, was a solid match. Didn't play my best. But Andy's a world-class player.

Q. When you say that he does so many things that make you uncomfortable, do you think you'll ever get to a point when you play somebody like Andy or Novak that you will feel comfortable?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. That is the reason why, you know, these players - Novak is 1 in the world and Andy is 2 - the reason they've won so many Grand Slams. They're the best in the world. There's no better than them now. It's all there. One, two, three balls, it's all there.

I need to get a little bit fitter for my aim for these top guys. They're all very, very fit inside the top three, four. Yeah, they're the best players in the world. It doesn't get much better than that. I know what it takes to get there. I'm going to work as hard as I can. I've been playing fantastic tennis the last month. Continuing what I did last 2015. So I'm very pleased.

Yeah, now I'll move on to next preparation block and getting ready for more tournaments. I'm very excited for the challenge.

Q. You have had a steady rankings rise; last Aussie standing here. Do you get tired of every Tom, Dick, and Harry telling you what you need to do to crack the top 10?
BERNARD TOMIC: I know Roger said what he said. Maybe took it the wrong way. I explained it the wrong way. Look, I think he did mention and say we all know that Bernard is not far from the top 10. He keeps saying it.

I just would have liked Roger to say, Okay, look, he had an amazing 2015. Went from 70, 80 to being 16. He didn't mention it. I just felt like maybe Roger said the wrong thing.

I'm working. I went from where I was to 16, 17 in the world. It's an amazing achievement. I'm there. I'm six, seven spots away. When I'm playing my best tennis, I'm a top five player in the world. But I need to get there. And not just to get there. Like I mentioned before, I want to be there four, five, six years, inside the top 10, top 5.

But I have to work for that. Tonight was a task and I had to play a player that's been there for many years. That's as good as they get. I know I need to work a little bit harder and just keep getting step by step improving and just stay healthy, because I know the most important thing is you have to stay healthy.

Q. You seemed to play a little bit not so offensive. Was that part of your strategy tonight?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I knew I had to be aggressive, but not overaggressive. It just frustrates you so much because Andy's just so, so fit, so ready for every ball. He gets back everything. It's just amazing what he can get back. It just shocks you. I go for more. Against other players that I'm dominant over I feel comfortable, but against him, you just don't.

That's why he's one of the best players in the world. You know, for me to get there, I need to work very hard. But everything is there. I just have to stay healthy, like I said before.

Q. Sara has gone through to the third round. Have you had a chance to talk to her? Will you watch her?
BERNARD TOMIC: I've been watching. I've been very pleased with what she's doing. Very good. I mean, at least someone won today. (Smiling.)

But, yeah, she's playing the third round. I look back, as well, when I won the juniors here at 15. Where it started for me. I mean, she's playing now in the third round. I hope she can do well. I wish the best for her.

My dad's going to be here supporting her. I think I have to take off very soon. I have to go to America, a few other tournaments to play. I'm going to be following that closely. If I can send her a message, I mean, I'll tell her that later, but this is all where it started for me in the juniors when I was 15.

I think she has to use it as an opportunity and just play and she can do well. Who knows, maybe get to the semifinal or final. That would be good.

Q. What is your program now? To the States, back for Davis Cup?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, we have Davis Cup in March. It's here in Kooyong. Yeah, I'm playing Quito which is in altitude there. It's 2700 meters. I won my last two tournaments in altitude in Colombia. This is another chance I can maybe do well in this tournament and win. I'm seeded No. 1. It starts next week. I don't start till Wednesday, Thursday. I get a bye.

I'll try to get ready for that. I have a bit of a wrist issue. I have to see about that the next few days, but it should be okay.

From then, have a few weeks in America, one, two weeks off, and then I play Acapulco. I have to play well in February like I did in January.

Q. And is Rio in the cards for you in 2016?
BERNARD TOMIC: Oh, the Olympics? I forgot about that. It is, absolutely. I don't know which month it is.

Q. August.
BERNARD TOMIC: Now, I mean, there's no points. You have to play all week. I would love to play the Olympics. It's huge. But maybe for my position, I don't know. Because there's no points, I don't know.

I'd love to play, but it's a long way away. Anything can happen till then. If I'm fit and ready, why not play?

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