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January 25, 2008

Bernard Tomic


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You started well and then had that little lapse in the second set. What happened there?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, correct. You know, I started playing good tennis, won the first set 6-Love. You know, something just happened. The heat got to me. I just like started playing bad and he picked up and I lost the momentum. He gained momentum. So it was tough.
But I managed to concentrate in the third set. I was happy to win 6-1. Just also happy to play well in the end, yeah.

Q. Have you recovered from yesterday's match with Ramirez?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I recovered well. I tried to recover as much as I can. It worked out well to me in the end today, so yeah.

Q. Yesterday you said part of the reason you love tennis was because of the challenges. Did you feel challenged in that first set?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, yeah. But I played good tennis and blew the guy off the court first set. And, you know, there wasn't much to expect from the other end of the court when I was playing really well.
I know if I play really good tennis, you know, in the junior level, I can, you know, beat these guys, you know, clean them off the court. But I struggle now and then. I've got to, you know, learn and, you know, build my confidence. You know, when I come into adulthood and play pros, I've got to be concentrated on those crucial moments.
That's what I'm, you know, working on. Hopefully tomorrow I can get the best of it, so...

Q. In the men's qualifier, you said the heat got to you a bit when you were knocked out. You said today the heat was getting to you a bit today. Are you worried at all about the heat tomorrow?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I haven't seen the temperatures. But I'll try to recover as much as I can, you know, get ice packs on the court tomorrow. You know, I'll try to get relaxed as much as I can tomorrow and hopefully tomorrow, you know, the heat won't get to me and I can win and, you know, play good tennis to win, so...

Q. How are you going to go about recovering?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, I'll just go back to the hotel now and relax, you know, watch a bit of tennis tonight and look forward to tomorrow's match.

Q. Do you feel the expectation, given it's Australia Day tomorrow, a lot of people watching you, cheering you on?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, well, you know, tomorrow's Australia Day. Yeah, I'll try my best for Australia to win so I can, you know, try my best. I know if I do that, you know, I can win.
But it's going to be tough. I played the guy twice before. I've beaten him 6-4 in the third set, and 6-1, 6-2 on clay. He's a tough opponent. I know his game. I know how to beat him. But it's going to be tough. He can play good tennis. I've got to come out there concentrated and hopefully, you know, I can get the best of it at the end so...

Q. A deal like you have with Nike, are there incentives tied in for performance in juniors Grand Slams? For instance, is there money on the line through that with how you do tomorrow?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm not sure about that. I don't really care about those things. I just care about my tennis. You know, in the end, you want to be a tennis player. I want to be a tennis player. You know, I want to try to, you know, be the best as I can.
Those things don't really worry me. I just come on the court, you know, and play my best, worry about those things after, so...

Q. If you win tomorrow, you'll be the youngest winner of the Australian Open juniors, I understand. What would that mean?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, you know, I've worked hard for an achievement like this, if I win tomorrow. But I'll go out there and try my best. And if I lose, I'll lose. But I'll know I've tried my best, I've played as best as I could. If the guy's too good, he's too good.
But it will be a tough match both ways, so we'll see how it goes tomorrow, so...

Q. Will it be your greatest achievement if you can pull it off tomorrow?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'd say so, yeah.

Q. A few years ago you had a really good run. You said it got to the point where you could see the fear in your opponents' eyes, you knew you had it won. Do you have that same sense this year at the Australian Open, that you're now intimidating the others, and you feel quite fearless?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I do. I do have that feeling. But a player can play well and you can play bad and you can lose a match. Just a matter of you playing good throughout the match and building momentum, you know, trying to, you know, play as relaxed as I can. I know if I can do that, you know, I win most of the time.
But, you know, now and then, you know, good players, you know, blow me off the court 'cause I'm not concentrating. I just know if I concentrate on the court, you know, try my best, you know, good things happen.
So, yeah.

Q. Can you see the fear in their eyes?
BERNARD TOMIC: Tough to say (smiling). Long way away.

Q. Where has the improvement come in your tennis in the last six months?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'd have to say my serve and my speed and my strength on court's really gotten to me in the last six months. But, you know, there's still areas that I need to work on, you know, to become a great player. And, you know, that's what I'm prepared to do, prepared to work hard for.
But, you know, it's a long couple of years to go. That's where I've really got to push the limits. Hopefully, yeah.

Q. You're very much aware of the fact it would be fantastic to win tomorrow, but it's just another step on the journey?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, definitely.

Q. Are you nervous?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I'll be nervous before the match. But I'll get through it after a couple games.

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