Re: Bernard's Articles and News
January 6, 2013
SYDNEY, NEW SOUTH WALES
THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.
Q. How do you feel coming into Sydney after a great Hopman Cup for you?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, really good, really confident. I'm just really happy with myself the last week. Couldn't be more happy, I should say.
Now it's a new tournament, and hopefully I can do well and bring my form into this tournament here and go deep in this tournament.
Q. (Question regarding facing Marinko first round.)
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, it's always strange, and when you play an Australian it's always difficult. I know Marinko well, so it's going to be a little bit strange.
But it's tennis. You know, I've got to go out there and compete and try to win.
That's what I'm going to do.
Q. You already played three solid games in Perth. What are you looking to do in Sydney?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm looking to do as best I can here and win it if I can. I think my approach last year to tournaments was a bit different.
Now I'm ready to win every tournament I play in and give myself the best opportunity to do as best as I can. I believe I can now, so I'm prepared to play well here. Hopefully I can.
We'll start on Tuesday and see we'll how it goes.
BERNARD TOMIC: I mean, take two months away from tournaments and you really get to learn what you really want. You know, you're spending two, three weeks off then having a little bit of a break and coming back and training for about eight, nine weeks was huge for me.
I had no time to train last year. I kept playing tournament after tournament. I improved so much the past two months, and the results are really showing.
I'm happy with myself. I've got to keep my head up and play well here and in Melbourne next week, the week after.
Q. Is there a little bit extra pressure when you come here? Hopman Cup is an exhibition and obviously it's a good arena and there were lots of people. But now you're at an ATP event and there are rankings points at stake.
BERNARD TOMIC: You know, everyone always asked me if I have pressure. Especially in Australia, I tend to feel like I always do have more pressure, but I play well for some reason. Every since I was 15 or 16, that's when I started always playing well here. I love playing in Australia. It's the best place for me to play and I always do well.
It's time now to take it also away after when I leave and play well there. I feel now I can play well here in Sydney and give myself the best shot of doing the best I can in this tournament.
I'm ready to go. My confidence is there, and hopefully I can do well.
Q. (Question regarding what he's changed to get his current results.)
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, the biggest problems I had last year is I had no time to rest or train. I played a whole bunch of tournaments in a row. Tournaments didn't feel like tournaments to me at a stage because I was just playing. I didn't know what I was playing. I didn't have time to train or prepare.
I think from now I've decided to not play more than three tournaments in a row and have two weeks off after sort of each period. That's when I'm going to give myself the best chance, is when I'm fit and prepared to play each tournament and give 100%.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it does, and that's what I need. I think for me, once I play more than four, five tournaments, I get tired. I stop focusing. That's really what I set down to do this year: just focus on the few tournaments that I play in and commit and do well, and then train and rest after and get ready for the other bunch of tournaments after that.
Q. Couple of the top seeds have dropped out this week. Does that open up som opportunities?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. Obviously Jo and Gasquet are not playing. They're very solid players and good players, so there is opportunity for whoever is going to take it I think.
But there are obviously a lot of good players here and everyone can play tennis these days. Every match is important. You don't have to beat the whole draw. You have to beat just five, six players to win the tournament. See how it goes this week.
Q. Will you give yourself a really good chance?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, you know, I do. Anyone can beat anyone on their day. I don't know how I'm going to play on Tuesday. Hopefully with the form I'm playing I'm going to play well, and I believe I'm fit and confident and I can play well and win.
You know, we'll see how it goes on Tuesday. Just looking forward to that match. You know, I want to win.
Q. (Question regarding pressure.)
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think that's when I play my best tennis is when I am under a bit the pressure. I love it. It's a very different feeling.
I sort of experienced it in a different way last year in Wimbledon and I wasn't quite ready and I reacted differently.
But I love nothing more than playing in Australia. It is honestly the best place for me to play in the world, and that's why I've done so well here the past years.
The pressure is always there. It's how you handle it.
Q. (Question regarding Ashleigh Barty in Perth.) Do you get the sense there is a rising generation coming now to replace Lleyton?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I think Lleyton has done huge for tennis in Australia over the last decade. What a champion he's been.
Ashleigh, got to know her quite well the last week. She's a great talent, great little player, and I know she's going to be really good.
Johnny obviously played well on Brisbane and was really close to beating Andy, but he's improving. I think he struggled the last six months, but he's got back to playing well. Hopefully he can come up and start playing well.
And obviously now Marinko is up there playing good; Matthew Ebden is as well. We've got a strong team now as opposed to a year ago, and before that I think it was just me that was inside the top 100.
BERNARD TOMIC: It wasn't that I fell out of love, I it was just got that drained and really couldn't put in 100%. Now everything I do now is more than 100% and I'm committing to everything, and that's why I'm playing the tennis I've been playing the past week. I hope I can continue, and I'm sure it will, over the next couple weeks.
I can't wait this whole year to see how I approach it and do really well.
BERNARD TOMIC: I think both. I think mentally and physically it drains you. If you lack one, then I think you lose both of them. Both have got to be strong, and you've got to be strong for every tournament you play in. That's what I've realized.
And you've got to be mentally in the go and willing t play every match and wanting to win. If you can do both that and feel fresh for the tournaments you play, you give yourself the best chance to do well.
Q. How stunned were you by the criticism when you weren't playing well last year?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, there was a bit of that. It was obviously hard, but I've learnt. It's just a learning curve. I'm happy it all happened in a way because you learn from your mistakes. Now I can continue to go forward and look to something bright this year.
BERNARD TOMIC: I think after I stopped, I think I pulled out of Paris, I think I took two, three weeks off and took some time away and didn't really have that chance to take two, three weeks off tennis during the year.
That's when I really committed and worked extremely hard over the summer. My body is really fit now and I'm playing tennis so, so well. I'm just feeling 100% out there, and that's why the results have been showing.
Hopefully they continue for me.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, you know, I've felt so much better for myself and in myself, and that's why I've been doing well. It's the best feeling in the world when you know you've trained a lot and you know you're getting the results.
I'm going to continue to work hard and improve. I've got so much to improve on, so hopefully I can keep improving.
Q. (Question regarding tournament scheduling.)
BERNARD TOMIC: I mean, I sat down and said I played over 28, 29 tournaments and three Davis Cup ties. The year before that when I got to I think 40 in the world I played 19 tournaments.
So I looked into that and obviously saw that I wasn't perform in probably ten of the tournaments that I was playing in. I couldn't really because my fitness wasn't there and mentally I wasn't there.
I think for me, I've realized that I need to be ready for every tournament that I play. The best chance I'm going to do that is committing to play three weeks and having a week or two off and doing that consistently.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, the way now I've been playing, there is no stopping me. I can do really well. I'm not going to say I'll be in the top 10 in two months, three months. I don't know. Could take longer or could happen just like that the way I've been playing.
I believe I'll get there this year. If I keep up this attitude and the way I've been playing, who knows? Could go even higher.
Q. How hard is it hearing from Australian media that you're not professional?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, it was quite difficult, like I said. I was on the road for so long and it was my first big year on the tour. I realized it is a really hard year and it's really difficult.
I didn't approach it well at times, and now I'm happy I've learnt all this and learnt from my mistakes. Now it's all going to come good for me. I know what I need to do this year to give myself the best chance of being a better player.
Q. What about Sydney specifically? What do you like about being here?
BERNARD TOMIC: Oh, man, so many good things about Sydney. I was at the harbor last night. That was pretty good. Oh, there is so much to do here I think. Looking back, I played here well when I was 16 in the qualifying.
Anywhere in Australia that I play is great for me. I chose Sydney for a great preparation and leadup before the Australian Open, and believe I can do well. And giving myself the best chance of doing well in Melbourne is to come here and prepare at the tournament.
Q. (Question regarding Davis Cup.)
BERNARD TOMIC: I mean, look, it's out of the question now. I don't think I'll be participating in that tie or the tie after, in April, I should say.
After that, in September if they need me, then I'll be more than happy to play. Until then, hopefully I can get my ranking up higher.