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APIA INTERNATIONAL SYDNEY


January 9, 2014


Bernard Tomic


SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES

B. TOMIC/A. Dolgopolov
6‑4, 6‑3


THE MODERATOR:  Questions, please.

Q.  Is that as good a win you've had this year given your record against him?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, I beat him in Australian Open third round 2012.  You know, I knew it was going to be difficult.  My record is not good against him.  I played the right tennis today to win.

Q.  His unorthodox ball, that's hard to play, or is there more to him that makes him difficult?
BERNARD TOMIC:  He's a bit like me but different.  Not a lot of the players like playing him.  That's why he was ranked as high as I think 12 or 13th in the world.  He was there for a year, year and a half in the top 15.
He's very difficult to play.  I knew as soon as I was playing him it was going to be a difficult match.  I don't like playing him.  I played the right tennis.  I was very focused and very clear what I needed to do.

Q.  You looked like you were very pumped from the word "go."  Was that the occasion, or you knew how difficult he was going to be?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, I knew I had to stay focused with him.  It's not so much about playing amazing or that good.  I just needed to stay focused and do what I needed to do against him.
Against him you can be winning and feel so uncomfortable, and you might lose in one or two games against, like your rhythm and everything.  So it's difficult to find that timing against a player like that.
Every point it's important just to focus and play sort of the game you need to play against him.

Q.  It seemed you were seeing the ball really well.  What's the feeling like playing at the moment, your rhythm and...
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, very good.  Every match is getting better and better.  I played the first match good and it felt very good, comfortable out on the court today, like in the first round.

Q.¬† The last time you beat him it was a five‑set slog, and today was quite convincing.¬† Is this kind of an indication of how far your game's gone?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, I remember that match.  It was very difficult and very long.
He did beat me last his in Monaco Masters pretty comfortably, 2 and 4, I think.  He has beaten me I think five out of the seven times we've played now.  So he's not someone I wanted to play.
Obviously you can't put it that way, because Grand Slams are different.¬† It's best‑of‑five.¬† So who knows if it was best‑of‑five what could have happened.
Obviously the scoreline in the Australian Open 2012, you know, it was a four‑ or five‑hour match.

Q.  Do you feel your game has gotten to a point going into a Grand Slam you're going to be that much more confident?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, I was very confident last year as well.  Unfortunately lost third round to Roger.  I'm confident now.  My main focus is here.  I'm doing good.  I'm waiting for these guys to finish to see who I play.

Q.  Do you have a preference?
BERNARD TOMIC:  I would like to play Marinko.  Obviously played him many times.  I know his game very well; knows mine very well.
I would prefer to play Marinko, and maybe we can set done a semifinal showdown if he wins tonight.

Q.  Talking about playing this match on your terms, is it just about focus or going for your shots and not getting caught up in what he's doing?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, yeah.  It's just about playing my game and just relaxing.  When you play tennis you sort of try to think too much and you become tight.  You don't play you're game in the end.
You want to relax and go for your shots and have a clear mind.  That's very important.

Q.  Does it kind of feel like you're playing a mirror of yourself at times on the backhand side?
BERNARD TOMIC:  What, against Dolgopolov?

Q.  Yeah.
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, when I play him now I know what it's like when players play me.  It's very different, because the balls that come to me are very unusual.  I struggle with a lot of his balls.
I'm like, What the hell was that?  It's his tennis, and that's something I do well.  Obviously he's a difficult player.
I'm happy I won.

Q.  I got to ask you about your jacket.  Looks like it's something for martians.  Did you pick this?
BERNARD TOMIC:  It's from space.

Q.  Does this mean you're out of this world at the moment?
BERNARD TOMIC:  No, it's cool.  It's a very cool jacket.  It's really unusual.  I know.  I like it.  (Smiling.)

Q.  You spoke about playing smarter.  Has that developed over the time I guess, not going in and just playing your own game, but knowing what to do to beat the other person?
BERNARD TOMIC:  Yeah, you got to do that, and I think you got to play 'em like more percentage.  The big points you need to play what you feel like is going to win you more.
In the future [sic] I think I always played the wrong sort of points at the wrong times and I ended up having a big mistake.  You want to play the right points at the right time and stay solid throughout the match.
That's the most important thing, to focus on the big points and do the right things.

Q.  When you play a guy six times coming into match, are you watching tape, doing strategy sessions with your dad and new coach, or kind of on you to figure it out yourself?
BERNARD TOMIC:¬† Playing a guy that many times you got a tape in your head.¬† Ever thing is‑‑ I played him so many times I know exactly what he's going to do and does.¬† I'm just probably lucky he was expecting me to play a little bit more the way I played the few other times I played him.
But I didn't.  I didn't let him get into that zone.  That's why I felt like I had the better advantage.

Q.¬† Looking ahead to the Australian Open, is the only thing you're worried about the draw?¬† Are you confident that regardless of who you play ‑ the Top 4 would be difficult ‑ but is that in the back your mind, hoping the draw is not too difficult early?
BERNARD TOMIC:  You want to try and avoid the big guys, but if you're confident, if you're doing the right things, and you feel fit, why not playing them the first round or two?  Because no one is playing good tennis in the first rounds at a Grand Slam.  It takes a while to get used to the courts.
If that happens I have to play someone big, it's an opportunity.  If not, we'll see in the draw on Saturday, I guess.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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