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June 29, 2011

Bernard Tomic


6-2, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. What are your immediate reflections on that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Uhm, I'm proud of myself firstly. What a player Novak is. I think I gave it, yeah, as much as I could today. I was not too far off, but he's a better player than me at this stage.

Q. Do you feel like you lost it or he won it?
BERNARD TOMIC: Uhm, I can't really tell about that. But, uhm, I had my chances 3-1 in the third. If I was a little bit smarter, I probably would have done the opposite of what I did.
But his returns keep pressuring you and then you make errors, and that's why he's that quality of a player.

Q. Were you starting to believe you could win at that point, 3-1 in the third?
BERNARD TOMIC: I was thinking a lot of things (smiling).
Yeah, I thought I could. But then, you know, when you're up like that, the other guy wants to come back. That's something maybe a little bit I left off and I didn't push that game to lead 4-1.

Q. When you say, "if I was a little bit smarter," what do you think you should have done differently?
BERNARD TOMIC: I was just a little bit relaxed. Obviously when I relax I played better. It was a bad idea -- I wasn't at the same focus level as I was to win the second set.
But I can say he played that game pretty good.

Q. At the end of the first set you looked pretty tired, but then you came good. Can you tell us physically sort of the peaks and troughs during the match how you went.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, I had a bit of a congestion last night and I didn't sleep as good. My immune system wasn't quite as it should have been in the first set, in the first four or five games. That's where he got on a roll.
After that, I mean, I felt good. I started to open up and go for my shots. If I start, you know, playing consistently at my level, I think, you know, that's when I will close out matches against these top players.

Q. You mentioned getting into the top 80 as the end-of-year goal. You're ahead of schedule. What do you think is possible after what you've been able to do here?
BERNARD TOMIC: Look, when you do a result like this, you know, it tells you you're only a few matches away from winning a title. I know what my goals are now. Rest is one of them (smiling).
But I definitely, you know, think I have the game, and if I get the mental state, to win a major in the next hopefully two years.

Q. The crowd started getting behind you in that second set. Describe what it was like out there. Could you feel the momentum shifting back to you? What's it like playing at Wimbledon for a player like yourself?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it's the first time I've experienced it, I think. I was down a break in the fourth, but to have the crowd behind you, I played well. That's what you need sometimes, is the crowd to get behind you so you can lift off, you know, and come back.
But full credit to Novak. He's an unbelievable player.

Q. Do you feel like you really belong now with this result you've had?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'd like to think so, but I got a lot of work ahead of me. (Smiling.) I mean, I definitely think I belong with these guys. You know, now I'm heading to America where it's much shorter. It's best-of-three, so it's a bit different.
But I think I have the physical strength now to play five sets and get deeper into tournaments. I mean, sooner or later I'll play a player like Novak or Rafa and Roger where I'll have a win, but until then I've got to improve.

Q. What do you think you have more to improve, which specific skills?
BERNARD TOMIC: Movement is one. Definitely I don't move as good as Novak. I can, you know, hit shots the way probably he can't in a way. But returns, I'd love to improve my returns and return like him. Obviously that would pressure the opponent more in the future.

Q. The Olympics here next year will be looking a bit more attractive than a few weeks ago.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think if that comes along, if I'm still here at that time, then, yeah, I'd love to play and represent Australia. That would be my dream to play for the Olympics.
And if it comes down to me playing it next year, what something it can be.

Q. How difficult do you think it is for your dad sometimes to stop coaching you and just be your dad, just be your parent?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, it's probably harder for him than me. But, uhm, you know, he's coached me ever since I was a young kid and I started playing. Sooner or later he'll back off a little bit.
Obviously now there's a lot of pressure for me breaking the top hundred and stuff. I think now it's all different. I think I've got to work hard and, you know, go a step further than I already am. That's when I think I can have a good career and start playing well.

Q. You have other people involved. Is it maybe a bit of a transition the next two or three years as you mature yourself that your old man won't be on tour as much with you?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, look, as soon as I have done well and made myself the best of a player as I am, then I think my dad can slip out.
But until then, he's the one that's coached me and helped me out and made me the player who I am now.

Q. When you say, " slip out," you mean find another coach to take you to another level?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. I mean, in time obviously it's going to be like that. But until I become, you know, as best of a player as I am, which I think only he can help me until then, it could be one year away or four years away. I don't know.

Q. You're obviously one of the younger players here at the tournament, the youngest, I think. You were the youngest to reach the quarterfinals since Boris Becker. If you'd won today, there would have only been two younger players than you, and that's Becker and John McEnroe. What are your thoughts being compared in that same light as those great players of previous years?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it's something that, uhm, you know, you really think about and makes you wonder, you know, what can you be in life and how many tournaments and Grand Slams you can win.
But to be mentioned amongst those people and those greats is truly good.

Q. Did Goran say anything to you before or after the match that you'll take away with you?
BERNARD TOMIC: He said, Look, if you don't win it this time, you'll win it one day (smiling).

Q. Did you think you had a quarterfinal in you?
BERNARD TOMIC: No, not yet. Not at this stage. I thought I was about a year or two away.

Q. You think you're that far ahead of schedule in results?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, 'cause tennis has changed so much. It's so physical. These guys are much more physical than they were 10 years ago. I'm not as physically strong as these guys.
That's when I really started thinking at 19, 20 I could have done something like this. But, you know, at this stage, to have done it now, uhm, it's something.

Q. With the sort of game you've got, do you think you can be a good player on clay or...
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, that's something I've become better on this year on clay. I've started winning a few matches, and that's something I'll continue to grow on and learn I think as my ranking moves up and then the higher I get seeded in the events like the French Open and Barcelona, I think I'll have better chance of playing well and gaining confidence on that surface.

Q. You talk about maturing physically. Do you think your game will change? Seeing you for the first time, I'll admit, you've got this counter-puncher's game and you take the pace off the ball. You had Novak guessing throughout today. Do you think when you have more power you'll be tempted to change that game or you'll stick to the thoughtful approach you bring to it?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, a lot of players don't like the way I play. I think in one way that's a good step for me. But physically, I mean, there's shots that maybe I can't hit as good as these guys, and I rely on my hands to pull me out of it, which sometimes end up being good, but...
But, yeah, when I physically become better at finishing cheaper shots, then I think that's when I start getting more free points. I mean, yeah.

Q. A few years ago you were playing with some Italian players like Giacomo Miccini. Sometimes you were losing; sometimes you were winning. Do you ever think, I'm lucky, I made it and the others didn't? Is it just a matter of luck, of strength? What are the reasons why someone is capable to do it and someone is not? It's just talent or something else?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, I remember playing against that player, and we were pretty similar in games. He beat me once; I beat him a few times.
But you don't really know until you get to the age of 18, 19, 20, where you are. If you're in 250, 300 at age 20, you know, obviously that's not a good sign. But if you're doing well I think at a young age, which I think I did in the junior career, you start getting a lot of confidence.
But it's a lot different coming to play on the ATP Tour. That's what I found out the first year. I was losing a lot of matches.

Q. Where do you go?
BERNARD TOMIC: My first tournament is Washington. I think I have the ranking now to get in the main draw for all the tournaments.

Q. What has your Wimbledon experience taught you about yourself?
BERNARD TOMIC: A lot. I mean, it's just shown me, you know, what player I am, how I can compare and play against these players. You know, it's shown me what I'm capable of doing in the future, I think.

Q. You've seen everyone close up. Who is your tip to win the tournament now?
BERNARD TOMIC: Uhm, look, I think having Roger lost, I think Novak's got a good chance of getting to the final. But Tsonga is playing good tennis. I think Nadal's winning. If it comes to a Nadal/Djokovic final, I think Novak has more wins this year over Rafa.
But Andy's playing good, so he can also do well.

Q. Any chance you'll hit with Novak before his semi?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm flying to Monte-Carlo. I'll be back on Friday. I'd love to warm him up before the semis or the finals if he wins.

Q. Why are you going to Monte-Carlo?
BERNARD TOMIC: I have a few things I have to do there (laughter).

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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