Re: Bernard's Articles and News
D. GOFFIN/B. Tomic
3‑6, 6‑3, 6‑4, 6‑4
Q. How disappointing is that?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's hard. You know, to see what you did last year and to lose first round is difficult. But, you know, there's a reason why I lost, I have to say. You know, I think I lost because he played much better and I wasn't playing the right tennis. No excuse.
I think the last few weeks have been a little bit tough on me. I have gone through a match where I should have won and been sick for a week. But, you know, look, I take that as a learning curve. You're not going to improve unless you learn, I think.
That's why it's important for me at a young age, for any player that's young, is to, I think, lose. You're only going to come back stronger if you keep losing.
I can't say anything wrong. He played well today from the second set onwards.
Q. You're saying no excuses, but physically how were you? You seemed to clutch your back a few times and looked a little bit out of sorts.
BERNARD TOMIC: I thought I was going to be ready. Like last week I was 70, 80%. But still it's tough to get through that three, four days, you know. I tried as much as I could, but there was a period where it was raining for a day and a half.
You know, I was feeling good in that first set. It's just that concentration level that I dropped, and, you know, allowed a player probably of his quality to get back into the match. Any player that's in the top 100 is going to take that and come back into the match.
Q. What was he doing that you couldn't seem to stay focused on?
BERNARD TOMIC: It wasn't probably what he was doing, it was what was going on with me throughout my head.
You know, I wasn't thinking straight at that time. I thought, you know, being one set to love up that everything was going to go away. But, you know, people want to get back into the match, and I allowed him to get back.
After I played too defensive and he was relaxed and just going for his shots.
Q. Last year you were the golden boy coming through and getting through the quallies and into the quarters and getting a set off Djokovic; now this year, you know, he qualified as a lucky loser at Roland Garros and played all the way to the round of 16 and got a set off Federer. Does it feel like you guys have exchanged places? Turned the table?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, look, he's 21; I'm 18, 19. I've gotten into the top 30. It's different. He has time and he's going to obviously be a top‑30 player. He has great groundstrokes.
But I think what I've lacked the last few weeks is, you know, the consistency, and it's tough to get. Hopefully the Olympics will be good to me. It's played here on grass. I've got tournaments I'm playing in Stuttgart and Hamburg, so I think I've got time to catch up to where I was here.
Q. The racquet obviously took a pounding. Was that today the frustration or was it three weeks' worth of frustration building up?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm not normally like that, but it's a good I guess sign of relief when you smash a racquet. I don't normally do it. It's not like I will keep continuing to do it.
I feel like, you know, I couldn't control myself because I was playing pretty tight and defensive, and, you know, he was playing relaxed. That's what happens sometimes.
You look at that last year, what I did was I was relaxed. It was the opposite side. What can you do?
Q. You didn't seem too thrilled that three times umpiring errors turned winners into replays.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, well, I mean, there were a few close calls, and just that's tennis.
Q. Is that something you learn to deal with, the frustration, you have to channel it in rather than take it out on the racquet?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I mean, I don't usually do that, but, I mean, like it's a mental skill. It's a skill you need to have. You look at the guys in the top 3. Mentally they're the most strong. If you look at the athletes that have dominated the world, they're all strong.
Mentally growing up I've been great, but obviously you're going to get times when you're young things won't go your way. But just think one day I will find this balance, within the next six months, year. I'm still young, but I've got to find it eventually.
Q. The balance you talk about, how does the coaching situation feed into that?
BERNARD TOMIC: The coaching situation, yeah, I mean, look, I can't complain. I think it's been more me the last eight weeks ‑ I think even on clay ‑ where I afforded a lot of losses.
You know, if I look back to going on the clay court season, I was up I think in four matches with four tournaments, I was up 5‑2, 5‑3 in the third just like what I was doing last week. It's just weird.
My concentration has been up and down, dropping. It's not no one's fault, but I've got to get back on that track where I was playing the start of the year.
Q. This is the first big tournament where you've had a lot to defend. Did you feel that was a burden, and did it play any role in your performances?
BERNARD TOMIC: No. To be honest, it didn't feel like that. It just felt my tennis wasn't where I wanted it to be to play. I wasn't scared about the points to defend. I was just worried. I was upset with my game today, the way I was playing. I couldn't execute my shots.
That's different when you go through last year being relaxed and being allowed to play. This year I go with the feeling of you're having to defend some points, but also you're not also feeling 100%. You're not playing the way you should be. You know, there is a lot of things that have been going on.
I'm going to take a few days off. I've got to get back on track. I know it will happen sooner or later, but you can't do that without hard work. To be honest, I haven't been really working hard the last two months. Just been up and down.
Q. Your whole career has been up and up and up. Now that you have a lull here, how are your confidence levels?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, what are you trying to say?
Q. No, I'm just saying is this a setback for you or you take it as sort of a blip?
BERNARD TOMIC: Well, look, if you say I'm going down with one tournament then I don't know what the hell you're talking about. You can look at it that way, but I think I've got eight months where I have points to defend, so we'll go back to that question in six months.
Q. You mentioned not working hard enough. Why is that the case?
BERNARD TOMIC: Good point. I think, look, to have talent is one thing. To have talent, it's huge for any sport.
I think the last few months I have been casually sort of working into a not sort of ‑‑ sort of using my hard work to get me where I have been getting the last year.
But I have sort of lacked off a little bit and look what it's costing me. Last eight, nine weeks I'm losing a lot of first, second rounds. So it's not my quality of tennis. My quality of tennis should be getting to a lot of semifinals, finals at tournaments or even winning where I had chances last eight weeks, but lack of concentration, not working hard, it costs you.
Q. Is that a lack of motivation in some way then? Can't sort of bring yourself to practice as hard as you know you need to?
BERNARD TOMIC: It's just strange. I mean, like on the way up I have been growing up playing and everything's got easy. I've gotten to where I have won very easily. It's amazing. Now you let the foot off the pedal and it's costing you. It's something I'll learn.
It's a good thing what's actually happened here. I'll wake up and get back to the way I was playing the next ‑‑ you know, for once where I don't have to ‑‑ I can relax and play good tennis and get back to that training mode to get me to the top 15, 20 at the end of the year even.
Q. Such a talented ball‑striker. Does that make it more difficult to sort of grind when you have to grind or...
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. Well, I think being a good ball‑striker, I've got good hands, but that's where I don't take my legs into play the last few months. I haven't been, you know ‑‑ hands is one thing, but the effort that you put in.
Like the guys in the top 3, it's different. That's why they're there. They've got hands; they've got the mental skills; they've got the legs.
Q. So were you frustrated with your game even coming into this Wimbledon tournament? You kind of felt frustrated even before you went out on court?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. Well, look, I wasn't expecting much. Maybe winning a round or two, because the way I was going through nine weeks of first, second rounds, you know, you sort of wake up and say, Hello. Shit, you're at Wimbledon. Sorry.
But in a way it's like, you know, you look at it. You've got through eight, nine weeks and you're heading into on of the biggest tournaments of the world where you've done unbelievable last year.
Then, you know, I've got to get back into the training world. At least I will have maybe the ten days off where I can train and get ready for the two clay‑court tournaments, and then the Olympics will be a good task for me.
We'll see what happens. Like I said, I've got to train, not use my hands.
Q. Can you take any motivation out of the fact you can come back here in a couple weeks during the Olympics and do what you wanted to do here and what you like to do on grass?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah.
Q. Another chance?
BERNARD TOMIC: I'm really gifted and lucky for that opportunity to have the Olympics coming up, which is, my point of view, bigger for ‑‑ bigger than Wimbledon for me, the Olympics. For any athlete I think it's something that I want to do well in, and I'm thankful it's on grass.
But like I said, I'm not going to do well. I can just say I will, but if I'm not going to work out the next two, three weeks...
You know, it's not what you do in the next two, three weeks. It's what you do every week. To be honest, the effort that's been costing me this tournament and the past two months has been probably my lack of effort, the way I have been training on court, off court, matches, and mentally.
So I've got to get back on that roll.
Q. Were you thinking when you got back here it would all fall into place?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, in one way. That's a good question. I mean, but in one way that's what I expected sort of. But it's not going to come back if you haven't put the hard work in. It's good. I like what I've lost. I think it's good for me.
Q. Is the problem you think the way you've been training or sometimes you've just not trained? You find other things to do?
BERNARD TOMIC: A bit of both. (Smiling.)
It's the way you train. I know my tennis, when I'm playing well, is not ‑‑ many people in the top 10, you know, top 15 struggle with my game. I can beat anyone, even at the age of 18, 19.
But it can cost you, you know. You can be talented and head down, but I'm not going to let that happen to me.
Q. In terms of outside influences, Davis Cup coaching scenarios, you respond a certain way in your private situation. What do you find is best for you?
BERNARD TOMIC: Say that again.
Q. Comparing Davis Cup and preparing for ties compared to this, what's better for you: having someone like Pat Rafter around? Do you respond to that kind of thing?
BERNARD TOMIC: Look, with me, like, you know, I can work with Pat ‑‑ like the Davis Cup is great. I love working on the team, and I can't wait for when Davis Cup starts. I love being in that role of being in the team. To have a shot at even qualifying this year if I do so it will be huge.
I think regardless of who's working with me, it's my sort of tennis ‑‑ my game is just ‑‑ it relies on me. People can say they can help you with a lot of tips. Even my dad who has been with me for 11 years has done a great job.
You know, that can take the place, but saying people can help, it's not really ‑‑ for my tennis, it's all about me. I've got to find that in me. People give you great tips along the way and can help you and stuff, which I'm ready for any help, but you're not going to become Federer, Rafa, or Novak if you don't do it yourself. That's for sure.
Q. Has your dad, your coach, been frustrated or annoyed at you for what you have admitted which is sort of a lack of application of training?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. I think there's also a few other things that are involved also last few eight weeks which I can't talk about.
But it's a learning curve, and I'm lucky I'm getting hit with these things at this age now. In one way it's good for ‑‑ I think it's great. It's better that I won ‑‑ that I lost so I can wake up and find my tennis where it can be and where it can take me to the next few years.
Q. Do you remember the last time you played him four years ago?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I lost 0 and 1 in juniors. You know, I think he played much better than I did second, third set. But see what's costing me today. Should have been realistically straight sets to me, 6‑3 and I was playing well.
But having dropped my confidence and my mental, I was ‑‑ you know, players just can't wait to come back. When I'm down a set, all I want to do is come back and beat the guy. That's where I lacked off a bit today. He took his chance, and credit to him. He played very good tennis.