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January 24, 2016
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
B. TOMIC/J. Millman
6-4, 7-6, 6-2
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Fourth round of your home slam against Andy Murray. Doesn't get much more exciting than that.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I'm very, very pleased and very happy with the way I played so far in this tournament. Today was a very tough match to be part of. Very physical out there. John was making a lot of balls.
I felt like first set I had chances to maybe play better, but he came back. Ended up winning 6-4, but I felt I had the break from the start, then got broken and played a pretty bad service game.
I'm so happy to be in the fourth round for the third time in my career. I think two times I made the third, three times I made the third. I played so many times third round, fourth round.
So happy to be in this position. Playing Andy now is amazing opportunity. One of the best players in the world. Have to go out there with nothing to lose and play the right tennis like I've been playing in the last month.
Q. Nick just had a breakthrough win against Andy. Are you going to go to him for some advice?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, but that's Hopman Cup. That's officially not a match. It's different. Hopman Cup, when I was playing there, I was trialing many things there, strings, everything.
You can't take that as an official match. I think Nick lost to him three or four times previously in tournaments. The Hopman Cup win was not countable on ATP, so it's totally different. You're playing in a Grand Slam, you're playing one of the best players in the world, and it's going to be a tough match.
Played him so many times in the past, I think two or three, and I'm down 2-Love or 3-Love. I have to find a way to maybe turn it around.
Q. You said he makes a lot of balls; rallies were physical and intense. You seemed really aggressive. Was that a tactic to counter what he was doing at the other end of the court?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I was. In one way this was -- If had of won, it's going to be a huge benefit for me playing Andy. He plays very similar. I did have to step up and di have to do a few different things. It's not like I'm going to rally with John 20 rallies or with Andy I'm not going to rally 20, 30 balls. I'll have to do different things.
I was trying to be a little bit aggressive, try different things tonight when I felt it was the right part. I was pretty solid. Apart from the first set where I got rebroken, I was pretty solid. Just felt like I should have capitalized on that break in the first and focused open my service game. It could have been a 6-3 set, 6-2, and have to play a few extra games.
I'm very, very happy. In the end, in the third set, I was moving very well. Felt good.
Q. After playing Sam Groth the other day, Andy said he enjoyed playing against attacking players. Kind of similar to your game. How will you deal with that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, Sam plays a totally different game. Andy loves playing players that attack. I don't think he likes players like Isner and Anderson. You have to take the ball to him, play aggressive, not too aggressive, and rally at the right time.
He's won Grand Slams, I think two Grand Slams. Made like six, seven finals. He should have won many more majors in his career. Unfortunately lost many times in the final. Amazing player.
I have to play against No. 2 in the world. It's going to be so tough for me. I have to play my game. I know previously playing up in Brisbane, the last three weeks, I've been playing really good tennis.
If I play the right way, the right tactic, serve well, there's a huge chance for me.
Q. Have a look at the Anderson game possibly.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I was watching in New York when Anderson beat Murray in the fourth round of the US Open. Also I look back and I have a good record against Anderson. I think it's 3-Love or 4-Love. Anything is possible now in this position. I'm playing well. I feel so confident. On my day I can beat anyone. I've beaten good players the last few months, three or four months.
I'm just happy to be playing the way I've played and a huge opportunity against Andy, but it's going to be very tough, though.
Q. Will you take much from your Davis Cup semi you played against him?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yes, it was a very slow court. It suited him well. It was a 7-5 set. I had chances maybe to win that first set. Then I think it was 3-3, break each set. He was pretty dominant. Played very well even against Thanasi the match before. I think he beat Thanasi 6-Love, 6-2, 6-3. He was just dominating. He was feeling so good. Against him you have to fight every point. I have to focus on my service games. I know there can be some chances.
But physically-wise I'm feeling pretty good. I was happy to win in three sets today. It's going to be very important for the recovery tomorrow for the match against Andy on Monday.
Q. Will you go out there with a point to prove on Monday?
BERNARD TOMIC: Absolutely. On the level now, playing like I've been playing the last year, you know, I just feel so confident on court. Anyone can beat anyone now. Especially with the tennis I'm playing, I'll go out there believing I can win and focus on my service games. I know I'll get some chances on his.
Q. Andy had to rush off to hospital to see his father-in-law. Any thoughts about that at this time?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm very sorry. I heard briefly what happened quickly. It's a bit personal to get into that. I don't know as much as you do. For his sake, it's bad luck. I wish him the best. I'm sure it will have no effect for him when he plays on Monday.
Q. What is your relationship with Andy? Do you know him well?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, he's a cool guy. He's cool. We're always nice to each other. I haven't spent too much time with him. But apart from when we see each other on tour, he's super nice to me. I have so much respect for his game, what he's achieved in his career. It's going to be an amazing match for me on Monday. I'm going to take it to him, play the tennis I've been playing.
Q. What point in your career did you realize your best could beat anyone? When did you start believing you could beat anyone?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I mean, many years ago, when I was 18, when I played the Wimbledon quarters. That's when I broke through. I felt like I beat quality players there. Lost to the world No. 1 at that time that was undefeated that year, Novak. 6-1 in the fifth, and he ended up winning Wimbledon.
It can change your -- my mindset for tennis and being competitive in the sport. I've played so good since -- unfortunately the year 2013 I had to do surgeries and stuff. That was for my own sake, my own health. I'm moving forward with my career. I'm happy with last year and this year so far.
Q. When everything clicks for you and you serve at this tournament, is that the best you've served in your career?
BERNARD TOMIC: Looking at the stats after Brisbane, I was ace leader on 73 aces. Even passed Raonic, him winning the tournament. I was truly fascinated. I don't know what I am now, but I'd say still in the top three. This month I've been serving very well, serving 15 to 20 aces every match. It helps. Changed a few little things on my serve. I really practiced more, as well, my serving in the block in December.
Q. Don't know if you realize in that first set you had four let cords. Have you ever had that many before?
BERNARD TOMIC: It happens once or twice, but four times was a lot. I couldn't believe it. It's also happened to me when I played somewhere. I couldn't believe what was happening. It happens. Can be unpredictable when you hit that net if it's going to go your side or his side. I just couldn't believe the first set I had three or four. And they were all tight to the net so he couldn't get to it, so nothing a lot I can say. Sorry at that moment to him. But it got a little bit funny for me.
Q. What happened in that first set? Was there music playing again?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. Well, there was. I think Nick's right, he's right on that. There was some music as well, that I heard as well. I was about to serve for the set at 5-4. I heard this music. I don't know where it was coming from.
You know, it was difficult. It's not easy because we're not used to playing. It's not the NBA where there's music going in the middle of the game. You know what I mean? It's like, What the hell is this?
I can see why it affected Nick last night. I'm glad they turned it off because I would have got mad as well.
Q. Do you know where it was?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't know. They turned it off. Someone was having a party up there. No good. They started the part early.
Q. It was the Bee Gees, Staying Alive.
BERNARD TOMIC: Someone is rocking up there, living the life.
Q. Federer made some comments about you missing out on the top 10 the last couple years. Does that motivate you or bother you?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, well, he has his predictions. I think he's also far away from Djokovic as well if he wants to say that. If he believes I'm very far away from the top 10, I also believe my prediction that he's nowhere near Novak's tennis right now.
It also motivates me. I'm working for that. When I'm playing well, I'm a top-eight player in the world. My ranking has to get there. I'm going to work every day this year getting to the top 10. It's not just getting to the top 10. I'm going to get there. It's about staying there for a while. It's about being consistent.
These guys that have been there the last five, six years on the tour, you have Berdych, Ferrer, Nishikori that have been there for a while, they're consistent. They're there for four or five years. That's what I want to become, and possibly be even better after I get there.
Q. We've seen this week Nick lose to Berdych and Dimitrov lose to Federer. Is it about time the younger generation started to kick on a bit?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. Dimitrov also is taking a while, was there for a year, so he's been playing very confident. I think the year he had to defend those points of being a top-eight player, I think that's where it got a little bit tricky. He lost a bit of those matches.
It's not about getting to the top 10, top 8. You have to stay there. I've been top 20 now for four months, five months. It's an amazing feeling. But it's about staying there. If you get to top 5, top 10, staying there. I think these new players, especially like Kei, have held that situation of being a top-10 player now for two and half years. I need to become like this, not just getting to the top 8 but being there for a while.
Q. Back to Nick. Do you feel for him? All the attention is on what happened after the music was being played?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, I can relate to it. I know what it's like, obviously what Nick's going through. He does give a lot more emotion out there than other players, even myself.
But I do understand what he goes through. Maybe he goes a little over the top sometimes, but that's him. That's his personality. He shows emotion like that. I do it differently. I sort of keep it inside me. I takes a lot for me to explode. It was getting to me there today with the music, so can I feel for him with the music.
I think they turned it off with him -- for three, four minutes it was playing. For me they turned it off within a minute, which was good. If they had played a little bit more, I would have showed a bit of Nick today, too.
Q. Many places you can go now where you don't get recognized? Does that concern you at all?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, since I was 18, my life changed in Australia. Personally I don't like it. I try to keep most time for myself in Monaco. I'm hardly in Australia. I live in Monaco. For me it's good. It's not always good going everywhere in Australia. There are people looking, Oh, I don't like that person. That's why I spend most of my time in Monaco.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports