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June 16, 2016
B. TOMIC/F. Verdasco
6-7, 6-4, 6-4
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How important was it for you to regroup after losing the first set when you'd had such a big lead?
BERNARD TOMIC: It was tough, because a match like that or a set like that you want to try to win, and after that first set against him and the way he played at the end of the last few games in tiebreak, my confidence was really, really down, because, you know, you need to know how to finish these matches. And that's what cost me in the past, concentration lapses.
I was very disappointed that I lost that first set because it was a high-quality set. He played amazing, and this is why he's so dangerous. Then I thought I had to try. Those first few games were very important in that second set, and that determined me winning that second set.
Then I played pretty good from the second set to third.
Q. Does it give you confidence going the rest of the week?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it does. It was a tough physical match. I'm very tired now, it was two hours, but it was tough balls and tough rallies. I have to prepare well for tomorrow.
I play a lefty, but today it was one of those matches where I just had to fight. Sometimes Fernando can play amazing and there is nothing you can do. I played matches in the past with him and he's played many top players where he's blown off the court.
That stage, you have to hang in there. One point against him can make him a little bit frustrated and he starts to miss. So I think having that confidence on him the last few times I sort of just felt like just keep the ball in play, and I got my chance in that second set and confidence swung my way. It was a very, very good match, high quality.
Q. How much of a benefit is playing Verdasco today going into a match against another lefty like Muller?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, yeah. For me it's a big advantage having played a left-hander today, and obviously Gilles doesn't play near as good off the ground than Fernando, but he's one of the best left-handed serves in the game.
I think maybe Gilles should have lost today, saved a lot of match points, but he's now in the quarters. My record is not very good against Gilles. I think I've lost two or three times against him.
So compared to the last two matches where I have been confident on the top players, Anderson where my record was 3-Love leading into the match and Fernando 3-1 leading into this match, my record is bad against Gilles, 3-Love down or 2-Love down, so it's going to be very tough.
Q. You talked before about the concentration lapses. What have you been doing to address that? Has Lleyton had a role in that or what other factors are there?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. When he's there it gives me that fire to focus in those first few points. After you've been up in games, you're gonna lose some games and you're going to get broken. That's going to happen. But you have to regain that confidence and try and fight for every point.
Having Lleyton here on the side, it encourages me so much to compete every point. And that's one of my biggest problems in the past is maintaining that concentration and fighting for every point.
But, you know, I do it at the big tournaments well, I do it here. So I think that's what got me out of this match today, the fight and the hustle.
Q. Does this give you confidence going into Wimbledon?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. I have beaten two quality players and both former top 10 players. So it's going to be very tough the next match, but whatever happens I have gained a lot of confidence the past few weeks on grass. Here I can only go forward and try and go for it and I've got nothing to lose.
Q. How relaxed did you feel during the match? Because you had a few funny, amusing moments with the chair umpire, as well.
BERNARD TOMIC: I felt pretty good out there. You know, tennis is tough these days, so much pressure, big moments. Everyone seems to get so tight and tense. You just have to enjoy the sport and remember what you play for at the end of the day.
I think that's when I have my best fun and play some of my best tennis when I'm relaxed and enjoying the moments, whether you're losing or winning. Today I think I did a bit of that.
Q. Do you think coming back today, being a set down, coming back against Anderson proves to someone accusing you of tanking matches that you are not that kind of player, you are a fighter?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it's tough to say that because, yeah, I was down 4-1 and could have easily lost that set 6-1 or 6-2 against Kevin. Same today.
There is many matches -- I think people sometimes mistake me as, you know, they accuse me of tanking. Sometimes, you know, that's the way I sort of come back into the match. You know, I sort of seem like I'm not there and stuff, but really I am there.
So sometimes I think people misunderstand me. Sometimes I use being down in a match as opposed to being ready and on your feet, sometimes I like to change it and do it my way. And sometimes it looks that I'm not trying and it's like this. But really I'm competing mentally for every point.
Sometimes I use it as a weapon being down, as giving players a heads-up that I'm not really there and stuff. But somehow I can turn it around sometimes.
But sometimes you can't. It's tennis. I think my body language has a lot to do with that. Being on the court, sometimes my body language gets a bit down and negative. But I think I use it as a weapon sometimes to turn matches around. So it's also a good thing.
Q. So you're not scared by people in the crowd not liking you because you had some fuss with a ball girl and people starting clapping Verdasco more?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, yeah, I saw that. Yeah, it's tough. You know, when you look at Nick and I, we don't return the greatest, so, you know, sometimes we're down 30-Love, 40-15 in games, and when a guy hits a good serve, it tends to look like we walk. But we are really there. We're good at what we are doing in serving.
But sometimes like for what happened today on the court, obviously people will have a favorite or their favorite players. I can't being liked everywhere. You know, the crowd can support other people more than they can for me. I can't do nothing about it. I just have to play.
Obviously there has been many matches where I have turned it around. I'm really good at winning matches from behind. But, you know, that's something I'm working on. And the thing that got me through today was I competed for every point.
Q. You mentioned the body language, potentially using it as a weapon. Are you trying to work with body language or...
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, look, that's just me. You know, everyone is different. You can't change that attitude of some players. There is a reason why I'm at the level where I am. If I want to improve and be top 5 player, top 8, I need to work a lot on my fitness.
That's always going to be there with me, that style. It's tough to change it. Of course I'm competing. Even if I'm down 3-Love, I'm still competing. It just sometimes looks like -- I wouldn't have won the matches I have won here in my past career if I was not competing all the time. You cannot say sometimes one point it looks bad and I'm not trying when really I am, you know.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports