Re: Bernard's Articles and News
F. MAYER/B. Tomic
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. Were you injured in the second set? What happened?
BERNARD TOMIC: Mentally I was, that's for sure (laughter).
It was a tough match in the first set. I knew obviously I had to play good against Florian. You know, I've learnt my lesson against him the last two times where I lost pretty easy to him.
Today, the first set was tight. I thought I had my chances in the second set. I think, you know, my lack of concentration I think costed me. I feel like, you know, my mental skills weren't there, weren't following me the way they should have been today.
There's not a lot I could have done mentally that second set. I feel that's the biggest key to my tennis. That's where I haven't been good at, the last set today.
Q. You couldn't summon the effort; is that what you're saying?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, that's sort of on the same line where I think I'm at. It's been a long year. I played a lot of tournaments. Haven't had time to rest. I think I only rested one week after Roland Garros. I think it was the wrong sort of move that I made. I think it's costing me now the last few months. My performance has not been as good.
Q. I guess it comes pretty soon after the US Open when there's a bit of controversy late in the match. How do you respond to that?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, obviously I'm learning. It's all tough. There's a lot of things thrown at you. I feel last year was a different year. I wasn't expected to do good. That's where I came inside the top 40 at the age of 18. That's where I proved I can play.
This year has been a little bit different. It's been defending points, defending stuff. I started to feeling the pressure.
I wasn't prone to pressure growing up, 16, 17. Now I think it's starting to hit me the last five, six months. It's costing me. It's been a massive road this year. I didn't plan my schedule as I should have and it's cost me a lot of matches that I probably should have won.
Q. Is part of it because it's your second year on the tour; people perhaps were surprised by your first year and the second year they know a bit more how you play?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it's very difficult. I mean, growing up looking at this sport, never would I have expected to come in at such a young age. With tennis these days, I feel last year and this year I've achieved so much, being inside the top 30 at my age.
Sort of the schedule that I planned this year is not the way I should have gone. I felt like that's what cost me. I couldn't concentrate all the tournaments. I was playing so many. I felt like I was playing a tournament and two days later I'm playing another tournament. I felt really that I was on the go every week and didn't have time to train, to settle down.
I think last year I had a lot more time to train. I think I played 19 tournaments. I think that's why I was doing really good.
So I think I sort of, you know, messed up this year with my schedule. I think I had a great year of getting my highest ranking, 27. But I feel I didn't plan the schedule as I should have the last six months.
I think it's a lesson to be learnt. I've learnt that I need to plan the schedule. It's a very important part of the game and how you play, I feel.
Q. When people talk about the next generation of players, people talk about guys like Raonic, Nishikori, yourself. Do you think in a way, bearing in mind your age, you're a couple years younger than those guys, people expect too much of you?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, you expect a lot more from yourself. You know, when you achieve I think at a young age, to be ranked to the position where I was, it becomes a bit up and down.
I feel like they did figure me out a little bit more this year, the players. But I feel like I played a lot of tournaments. I wasn't prepared for 10 to 15 of these tournaments. I think that's where it costed me mentally and physically in some tournaments. I feel like that's why I couldn't execute some matches and the lack of performance in some matches.
But hopefully next year I'm going to sit down and plan my schedule as best as I can.
Q. You talked about pressure before, people expecting so much more. How do you go about dealing with that? Is there something you can do to help you cope?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think it's a very tough tour, I've come to realize. This is my first big year. It takes a lot out of you.
I feel the pressure now is starting to kick in. I'm starting to feel that at tournaments where I defend. It's a bloody tough thing to respond to. I feel like the tougher player and better player you are, obviously you have more pressure. The guys in the top 5 have to defend a lot of stuff. For them, I couldn't imagine the pressure they have.
So this year has really proven there is pressure. It's difficult to cope with. I have to sit down now. I have some weeks off. I've got to see, start training, get the schedule right next year to perform at 100% in every tournament I can play in, and play a minimum amount of tournaments that I really should be playing.
Q. You spoke at Wimbledon that there were some personal issues going on; you weren't happy with your own effort on the practice court. Has anything changed since then?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it has in a way. Weeks on, weeks off it does change. I put in the effort and I train. I get there and I play well. Then all of a sudden I'm back, you know, losing first round to players I should have won because mentally I wasn't there.
It's just been up and down. I've come to realize you have to be ready for every match you play at 100%, even if you're not feeling good. I think if you have more time to play, three tournaments, you have a week off or two, then you can play these tournaments and matches at 100%. Really, if you're playing the tournaments I did this year, playing every week, it takes it out of you.
Q. Back to the US Open, you talked about the mental problems. Can you say you gave 100% out there today?
BERNARD TOMIC: Today I gave about 85%. Today I gave 100% in the first set. I felt in the second set, my 100% wasn't even close to where it should be. That's where I think mentally‑‑ the mental skill is one of my biggest problems.
I'm starting to figure ways out, but it's very difficult. If you're a kid like me that grew up playing 18, 19 tournaments a year, my last year in the juniors I didn't play a lot of tournaments. I played the least amount of junior tournaments and was ranked 1 in the world.
Obviously, I made a mistake. It's a huge key. Looking back to the US Open, all those matches that I probably should have won, should have played well in, and I didn't really. I feel like I wasn't prepared for those matches.
I feel it's really important for me for next year to play three to four tournaments max and then have a week or two off, then play the next three tournaments and have a week off, play from there. Really it's not good if you're playing every week because you can't be putting in the effort you really should be putting in.
Q. How has it worked this year being based in Europe? Has that been a good thing?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, it has. But I haven't gone back once. I've been on the road the whole time. I think, you know, playing every week, there was no time to go back. And if I didn't have a tournament that week, I would play Davis Cup for two weeks, train there with the guys. It would still be tennis, tennis, tennis.
You know, growing up when I played the best is when I trained and had weeks off to prepare and do my gym, be physically prepared. That's when I played the best. But I didn't have a chance this year to have a week off or two to train, to get ready after three or four tournaments. It's just been ongoing.
I feel I've done well in some tournaments, but mostly I haven't been doing that well. It's been costing me these matches.
Q. I wanted to know what your plans are now for the rest of the year.
BERNARD TOMIC: I'd love to answer that one (smiling).
I don't really know at this stage. I'm meant the last three tournaments to play. I don't think I'm defending anything. I don't think it's about playing for me now, playing these last three tournaments. I'll see with my dad and my coaches.
I feel like I need to figure in the next few months, very important to me. I feel like I need to get back on track. I think I need two months of good, solid training. I don't think you have time in one week to learn a lot.
I think eight, nine weeks of training can really build you up. Then from next year, I think playing a minimum amount of tournaments, 20 to 23 tournaments, would be a huge thing for me.
The end of the year, these last three tournaments, I'd love to answer, but we'll see in the next days what I decide to do. I'd love to answer that one.