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January 18, 2011

Bernard Tomic


B. TOMIC/J. Chardy
6-3, 6-2, 7-6

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Were you a little worried about getting a wild card?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, uhm, well, it was their decision. You know, it was tough to say. I played well in Sydney. So I can't really say much. It was their choice.

Q. Good opponent today, a player with some success in the past. Have you ever served better on the important points than that in a match?
BERNARD TOMIC: Probably not, no. Today I served, you know, solid, but I served really good on the points that I needed to.

Q. The first serve that you sent out you were landing them on the big points quite well. Have you been working on it, or is it just more height?
BERNARD TOMIC: Uhm, well, I've definitely been working on it, and I've also shot up, as well. You know, the taller you are, the better it is for the serve. I think I focused more on those important points than I did on the others.

Q. What is it about playing here? You've hardly had a tour-level win, and yet you've had three here. What is it about the Australian Open that brings out your best?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't know. I get lucky here somehow (laughter).
No, I play down here really good. Amongst the crowd, it's different playing with your home crowd, the way they get behind you. I'm sure the other player feels it, as well. Uhm, you know, I take that to my advantage. The crowd here gets behind me and I play even better, I think.

Q. What have you been working on in your game, given you didn't play a whole lot the second half of last year?
BERNARD TOMIC: I've been working on sort of making the transition of the ball, to hit it harder throughout the point. Sometimes I get in the rally where I play too soft. Against these guys, you need to take the first point and hit it hard. That's what I've been doing and working on the last six months. So really taking the opportunity whenever I get it.

Q. Slice worked well today; seemed to sort of get him off his rhythm a little.
BERNARD TOMIC: My slice is my best shot. That's one that gets me out of trouble that I can hurt players, get it down low. They don't like it low.
Today he didn't like it low. That's what I was using as a weapon.

Q. You approached the net quite a bit early. Is that probably didn't see much of that last year? Is that also something you've been instructed to do?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, of course. I mean, before I used to, you know, push the ball. It was tough for me to come forward. Now that I'm taking the opportunity and hitting it harder, I've got more chance to which forward off the right ball.

Q. Are you aware of the excitement you're causing? Australia hasn't been doing too well lately.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, uhm, well, you know, my job is just to play and worry about my game. If others can do well, other Australians, it's good, too. But there's nothing much I can do, just focus on my game.

Q. All the shots that you have, do you think that the physical side of your game just needs to be stepped up a little bit? Is physically getting stronger going to be the most important? You're getting taller, but is the physical side the one thing you need to work on a little bit more?
BERNARD TOMIC: Absolutely. I think, you know, once I build my athleticism, I'll be much better at, you know, controlling points. I think I control the points really good now at my age.
But it's a matter of just, you know, like I've worked on the last six months, taking the short ball on the first chance. That will come if you're athletically fit. I think if my body is feeling fit and can run around the forehand or take that first chance and step in, I think it will develop.

Q. Last year there was controversy. You won your first round. Played a late-night match in the second round. What are your preferences this time? Do you want to play in the day or night?
BERNARD TOMIC: Court 21 (laughter).

Q. Seriously? Do you want to be shielded, or would you rather the spotlight there?
BERNARD TOMIC: I don't mind. Whatever they give me. It's up to them. I don't prefer playing on Laver, any of the other courts, Hisense or Margaret. Doesn't bother me.

Q. Some players prefer playing at night because it's a bit slower; others during the day because it's quicker.
BERNARD TOMIC: These courts are pretty slow. What I found on Laver and Hisense, they're pretty slow. Even during the day, they're pretty slow. I think they're the slowest hard courts around. I don't reckon it makes any difference for me if I play at night or day.

Q. Are you sometimes surprised at the publicity you get considering you haven't won a whole lot of matches in your career yet?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, look, it's tough to say that. I mean, I think I played well as a junior. That's totally different to the senior level. But, uhm, you know, I think I'm stepping up and beating all these players now. I think it's just a matter of time before I win a lot of matches in a row in a tournament.

Q. This one maybe?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'd love to. Depends. I've got a tough next round against López. He can play really good and just blow you off the court. I think if I prepare and play well like I did today, I think I've got a good chance.

Q. Do you read the newspapers?
BERNARD TOMIC: I did last year (laughter).
No, I haven't really. No, I haven't.

Q. Do you think the pace of the court might be to your benefit against someone like López? Take the sting off his serve a little bit and give you a chance to get into the rallies.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the faster it is for him the better. The slower, the better for me.

Q. Do you have targets in terms of your development? You're saying you're still young and developing your body. Do you have things you want to achieve by certain ages or times in 2011?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's going to be a new year. I think I'm going to play a lot more tournaments. I think I want to break the top hundred. I think it's tough. But if I play more tournaments this year, I've got a good shot.
But saying that, you can get sick. There's a lot of things going around. If I play, play the way I'm playing the last few weeks, I think my progress will show.

Q. Are you still growing? How tall are you right now?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I'm getting close to 6'5". I think I've stopped growing. It's just, you know, I'm physically getting wider. Growing is a tough thing. Don't get me wrong. You can play well sometimes, and then you come to the court sometimes in practice and I can't find my ball.
But sometimes, you know, I think when I'm settled and I'm not growing as much, I play better.

Q. You said you're getting wider. Have you put on much weight?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I used to weigh 86 kilos last Oz Open; now I'm weighing 91. I've definitely got more on me. I'm not saying I'm going to be like a hundred kilos. That's not ideal for a tennis player.
But I think this is my limit now with my weight. I just have to use this weight, where I am now, and just hold it.

Q. There are no teenagers as of now in the top 100. You mentioned the physical aspect of the game. Do you think that's the main reason, because the game is so physical?
BERNARD TOMIC: I think so. It's tough, especially now in the last three years, for such a young player to come in the top hundred. There's a lot of players now that are so physically strong that tennis is becoming so hard. It's just going to continue to get harder.
If you're not physically fit and strong, you got no chance, I think.

End of FastScripts

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