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June 25, 2011
B. TOMIC/R. Soderling
6-1, 6-4, 7-5
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Were you surprised to beat him? Did you expect to beat him? How do you feel about it?
BERNARD TOMIC: I really, uhm, came in today, you know, giving myself a chance. You know, I think I played really relaxed in the first set. You know, I didn't think I could win at the start. But the way I was playing, you know, I was questioning myself. After that first set, it opened up a lot of doors.
Q. In terms of your career, how would you describe your win?
BERNARD TOMIC: Probably most definitely the best achievement that I've done so far. You know, I'll always remember this is the first time I've really done well at a Grand Slam.
I think, you know, the way I've been playing is really good. If I can keep it up like this, who knows.
Q. Can you believe that you're in the second week of Wimbledon?
BERNARD TOMIC: No (laughter). I'd love to believe it, but, you know, it's a new feeling for me. It's the first time I've experienced playing the second week. You know, it's a whole new feeling for me, you know, the last 30 minutes. You know, I'm sure I'll get used to it.
Q. You really won the crowd over out there. Did that help you? How does it feel?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, uhm, I did to a certain point. You know, they were really cheering at the end in that 5-All game. That was an important game, you know, when I broke. Being down Love-30, millimeters away from pulling it to a tiebreak, yeah, I was in doubt.
But the crowd definitely helped and I was happy to get the support from them.
Q. As the win got closer, did it become harder to close it out in your head?
BERNARD TOMIC: It did, yeah. You know, at Love-30, I was questioning myself. That's a time where I said, A free good serve would do me in hand. I'm lucky I served that out wide and got that ace at Love-30, because if I didn't, who knows.
Q. When did you first realize that he wasn't feeling a hundred percent out there?
BERNARD TOMIC: Uhm, well, I mean, I couldn't realize it at the first set. I hit a lot of winners and served a really high percentage. I wasn't doing anything wrong.
It was about the second set where I started to play a little bit more balls, not be as aggressive as much. Then he started missing a few balls that he shouldn't really and started complaining. You know, I didn't know what was wrong with him.
But, look, I think that first set definitely changed his mental attitude, the way he played.
Q. There's no more dangerous animal than a wounded animal. Tricky one to combat, isn't it?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I don't know what was wrong with him. I was focusing on my side.
I think anyone on that side, after that first set, even for example if I played a guy and I was down 6-1, of course I'd question myself. I would be down. When you lose a set like that, when a guy plays really good, you really question yourself, you know, What can I do to beat this guy?
Today for me it was lucky it was my side that I was playing well.
Q. How far can you go?
BERNARD TOMIC: Look, I'm in the fourth round now. I'd love to win another round. It's going to be a next few days where I'm going to have to prepare mentally for it and not just backing off in the fourth round.
I think I can win. I've got to go out there and believe like I did today.
Q. What did your dad say when you came off the court?
BERNARD TOMIC: Apart from the screaming that I couldn't hear anything, he said, you know, Very well done. All the hard work's paid off.
Look, I put it to myself, I really worked hard. Good things happen when you put your mind to it and focus.
Q. Did you speak to Pat?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I spoke to him in the gym. He congratulated me. It's good to have someone like that helping out here, especially at a tournament that he's done really well in.
Q. You're the first 18-year-old for 21 years to reach the fourth round. What does something like that mean to you?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's big. It's big for me. You know, I didn't know that I was the 18-year-old that got there in the fourth round after 21 years. But, look, things happen after and you realize you've done this and achieved this.
You don't really put your mind to it. Don't really want to stop now after you've done it. You really want to keep going. That's what I'm going to do.
Q. You come from a country that probably has as rich a tennis heritage as any in the world. Before you've had a good run here, things were looking pretty down in Aussie tennis. Talk about that and what you hope to give back to it.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, we've gone through a stage last year maybe, Lleyton being injured a few times. Hopefully Australian tennis can rise.
I think now even with my moving up forward, I can get a lot of kids young saying, I want to play like him and get to the top 100 and help out Australia.
I think it will all change in the next few years. We have a lot of juniors coming up. It's just a matter of time they get the opportunity like I did.
Q. Did you have any narrow squeaks in the qualifying event?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I did. 4-All, 15-40 in the third, first round, breakpoints.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. The ball hit the rubber band on my racquet. Sort of bounced. It was a strange shot.
If I look back to coming to the fourth round, that was a point literally where I should have been out of the tournament.
Q. Was that on one of the backcourts at Roehampton?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yes, it was.
Q. Playing side-by-side with balls flying all over the place. You have to concentrate to get through that championship.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. I mean, look, I was probably four points away of losing in the first round of quallies. Never I think I would get this far in here. Those rounds at Roehampton are pretty tough. I look back to that first round and say, Hey, you know, I won that match, I've gotten this far. Who knows what can happen next.
Q. Who was that against?
BERNARD TOMIC: Sebastian Rieschick, about 200 in the world.
Q. Do you play better the bigger the stage?
BERNARD TOMIC: I like to think so. The better player I play, I seem to fire up and play better tennis. It's always good playing on a court like that. You have so many people watching you. You say to yourself, You have to play well. You have sometimes the crowd on your side, which is always a good thing.
Q. Hard to go from a big court to a smaller court.
BERNARD TOMIC: It can, yeah. That can always pay a bit of a price. The other day I saw Nadal on Court 1, which was a bit strange. Anything can happen at Wimbledon, I guess.
Q. You played Nadal in Melbourne. Did this experience help you today?
BERNARD TOMIC: It did. It put me in a situation where I was in third round then, obviously playing a champion that has won so many Grand Slams.
Today was different. Today I played with a bit of experience of that match that I played against Nadal. I think it really paid out good.
Q. When the games were falling to you in the first set, 3-Love, 4-Love, 5-Love, what were you thinking at that stage? Were you thinking, Is this really happening?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, uhm, I kept looking at the score just to make sure it was all right, on touch, everything was good. You know, I didn't know that I was beating him so quickly and the first set was over in 17, 18 minutes.
I didn't even think that I was going to play like that. But, look, I knew he hit the ball hard. I wasn't going to go out there today and play defensive, push the ball around like I did in the first few sets against Andreev. I knew he's a good quality, world-class player that's going to wipe me off the court.
I came out there with a mindset of hitting the ball hard. He wasn't reacting at all to my shots.
Q. You played Malisse last year in Queen's. What do you recall of that game?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I played him last year. I think he won in three sets. It was a set all. He called the trainer. We know each other's games. We play a little bit similar on grass, both hit the ball pretty low. He's obviously got good results here, got to the semis years back. He's a dangerous player. He can definitely play good on grass.
I've got to use that fourth round as a gold set and look forward to win.
Q. All those many years ago when you were a kid and you first took an interest in tennis, who was your favorite player? Was there anyone you sort of wanted to emulate or pattern your game after?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, when I was young, I looked up to Goran Ivanisevic, Agassi when he was playing. Lleyton took a role there when he was world No. 1 at a young age, at 19 I think. That's when a lot of young kids look at and say, I want to be there one day and have a career like that.
Q. Was Lleyton able to give you advice for today's match?
BERNARD TOMIC: I didn't get a chance to speak to him. I spoke to Tony about it. He gave me a few tips. Lleyton was busy, I couldn't bump into him. I spoke to a lot of people and they gave me good advice on how to play this guy.
Q. After this win today, do you still think you'll be the underdog for the next round?
BERNARD TOMIC: Look, having won now and gotten into the fourth round, I think I've got nothing to lose. I've just got to put myself on my mind that, look, you know, I've got to play relaxed, have fun. That's when I play my best tennis. I think I can play really well when I do that.
Q. How important is your serve going to be against Malisse?
BERNARD TOMIC: Uhm, important, yeah. He returns really good. He obviously doesn't serve like Robin, but he's much better on the balls where I'm going to give him at low level where he can pick up with his slice. He likes the ball down low.
But, you know, having played him last year, I know his game; he knows mine. We both play a bit similar. I think whoever becomes a little bit more aggressive at times is going to win that match.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports