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January 22, 2016

Bernard Tomic

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

B. TOMIC/S. Bolelli

6-4, 6-2, 6-7, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Relieved to get through?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. You know, I was serving for the match at 5-4. He played the right tennis; he went for it. It put me on the back foot early in the first few points. I missed a few first serves.

From then, it just shows you, you give someone back a little bit and it can turn the whole match around and maybe you can lose a match like this.

I'm very happy I won. It was very comfortable for me. First few sets was feeling very good on the court. Apart from that, serving for the match, he was playing ridiculous after that. I had to just stay with him.

I knew at one game he would miss everything. He cannot -- it's like impossible for him to hit every line, which he was doing like seven games in a row from 5-4 down.

It was good tennis though, from the third, fourth set. Unfortunately I wasn't supposed to play that fourth set. So unlucky for that, but I'm happy I won in the end.

Q. You spoke of the importance of spending as little energy as possible the first few matches. How are you feeling physically?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm doing a great job of that, aren't I? (Laughter.)

It didn't go five, it went four, but it was a tough four. I got to do recovery. I always feel well after a few rounds here. It's tough always playing tough matches first, second round, so I need the recovery tomorrow.

I feel pretty physically good. Now I just have to recover, recover, and I play another Australian in John Millman. He's playing very, very good. He's in good form. It's not going to be an easy match. He's going to make a lot of, lot of balls.

Q. Did you have much experience with him growing up?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, we've played a lot in the challengers when I was about 14, 15, 16. I think we played maybe once or twice. I think I got him both times.

But he's improved so much. He's a huge competitor. He has a lot to do with the Davis Cup now. He's a huge supporter over there. He's such a nice guy. I congratulate him for making the third round. It's I think his best achievement at a Grand Slam. It's something he's also very proud of. He's looking for sure to maybe to go into the fourth round.

We have to face each other, so I'm very happy it's the situation now. I have to focus on trying to win this match.

Q. How important was your serve tonight? 24 aces. Not bad.
BERNARD TOMIC: Was that it? Yeah, I mean, I felt like I didn't serve good. It's funny. Well, I would have taken all those aces back if I could just win that 5-4 game, you know.

I mean, I was serving really good. I was on the spot. I spoke to Simone after. He had a little bit of a problem in his lower back, but then that problem turned into something -- you know, he just kept hitting the ball so hard. He told me he couldn't run. He told me he was feeling something, so he started hitting the ball as hard as he could.

Unfortunately for me everything started going on the line. I'll take anything to win that 5-4 game, whether serving bad or good. But I'm happy with my serve today. It was pretty, pretty solid. Not the best, but solid.

Q. What do you take out of a match like this in terms of lessons learned?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I mean, you just got to be ready for everything in life, in every game, especially serving for the match. It's happened to me before. It's happened also to me when I've been down in matches like that. It's always tough.

A player like that, his final game, he's obviously going to try to do something different. It can work to your favor; it may not. Today it did for him. It allowed him to get back in the match.

You learn stuff all the time when you win or lose matches like this. I'm happy I won in the end. I learnt now it's time to do something different and focus more.

Q. Four Australians in the last 34. Daria is in that. Are you pleased to be part of this new Aussie generation coming through?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. It's a good feeling. We're all pushing each other. It's the most important thing. It's an Australian thing. We push each other to succeed. Looking back four, five years ago when I was 17, 18, 19, it was just myself, and Lleyton was struggling with injuries.

Now a huge motivation for everyone. They're competing so well. There's I think five Australians in the top 100, am I right? Four or five. So it's good. It's amazing what's happened in the past four or five years. It's good to see this.

You know, unfortunately today was Lleyton's last match. I didn't get to see it. I would have loved to be there, to see the final moments live. Unfortunately I wasn't. I was on the court. I was still managing to look at the score to see if he was winning, but unfortunately he was three sets to love down when I looked.

So I had to focus on my match then. But it's a huge day also for Australia to miss such a great legend. He truly will be missed.

Q. You have a bit of extra respect for someone like John Millman who has had some career-stalling injuries, sleep on airport floors, and stuff like that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. He lives in Brisbane, I think. I live on the Gold Coast. Known each other many, many years. Spending time on Davis Cup a bit with him. He's a really nice guy. He gets behind us. He supports. Truly we get along well.

I'm very, very pleased with him winning today, him making his best third round at a Grand Slam. So unfortunately now we have to play. But, you know, I'm very happy that he got to the third round, as well.

Q. Doing anything special for your dad's birthday aside from winning?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's 12:15. It's over. I couldn't believe it. I thought it was like 9:00 when I finished. I looked and it was like 12:00. I couldn't believe it.

Q. What do you need to bring to play John? What does he bring?
BERNARD TOMIC: Different game. I think I played huge hitters now in the first round, second round, guys that hit the ball amazing. Have beaten top-10 players in the past.

Different matchup now with John. He's more of a competitor on every ball. He tries to fight for every point. Obviously probably not as talented as the guys I played, but he works every point. He works hard. Makes a lot of balls.

It's not easy playing a player like this. He deserves to be where he is now. I have to come out playing my tennis. I know I'll have a chance to win.

Q. On Lleyton, with him gone, do you feel any extra responsibility to step up and fill that void a little bit?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I mean, he's going to be missed not just by myself but many people, many fans out there, many kids around the world. I do feel this responsibility now, especially leading into this next Davis Cup I think in March when it's his first chance to be the Davis Cup captain.

It's something I'm really looking forward to. It's something, you know, it's going to be new for us. He really deserves to be in that spot with what he's achieved in his career as a player and also as a person, because he truly is a great guy. Not just to me, but to many others. I've definitely learnt a lot from him.

Q. Is part of you relieved to see John had knocked Muller out? You've had struggles against him in the past.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yes. Yes. That being said, I think I'm down 3-Love, or 4-Love to Muller. I was watching. I was excited in my way John won, excited to not face Gilles. I hate playing the guy (laughter).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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