Not really about Tomic, but an interesting take on this new generation of players vs. the last one (Nole, Murray, Nadal) from Cahill and Evert.
AO Conference call with Christ Evert and Darren Cahill
It's a very long article covering many male and female players but there's a paragraph about Nole's very famous press after his 2006 RG QF defeat by Rafa.
Q. Around the time when Nadal or Federer were winning everything, 2005, 2006, I think everyone saw Murray and Djokovic as strong, probably going to get to the top, the only thing holding them back were these two guys.* I don’t know if you would say that now about some of the guys younger than Murray and Djokovic.* What do you two think?* Is that next generation maybe a little bit behind where this generation was a few years ago or are they coming along okay?*
CHRIS EVERT:* I’ll just say briefly, because Darren knows a lot more about this than I do, I’ll say briefly I think this is the year, 2013, for these players to emerge.* I think we kind of saw hints of it last year.*
But especially this year, with Nadal not being 100%, Federer, like I said, as each year goes on, it’s going to be harder and harder for him to be mentally tough for every match.* I think this is the year that some new faces are going to pop up, and have to.* That’s always been the way it’s gone in tennis.*
DARREN CAHILL:* I agree with that.* You’re right, absolutely.* This generation of Murray and Djokovic, the one previous in 2005, 2006 that came up, were right there with these guys.*
I remember a little story actually with Andre.* Remember back at the French Open in 2006 when Djokovic got through the quarterfinals, played that match against Nadal.* He walked off the court after a couple sets because he was injured.* Obviously it was a big thing for the young kid to get through to the quarters.* In the after-match press conference he said he felt comfortable on the court against Nadal.* That caught the attention of Andre back in 2006.* I remember vividly the tournament right before Wimbledon, just before Andre announced it was going to be his last Wimbledon ever, and the US Open was going to be his last tournament, he played an exhibition against Djokovic.*
Andre said, The kid just played Nadal, right?* This is the kid that said he felt like he was the better player at the French, right?* I said, Yeah, this is the kid.* So walking out from the locker room onto the court, I remember walking next to these guys, and Andre peppered him with questions about his career.* This is an 18-, 19-year-old kid that came out and said he felt like he was a better player than Nadal on clay.* Obviously I’m paraphrasing him a little bit.*
Andre peppered him with questions about why he would make such a statement.* Novak wasn’t being cocky, he wasn’t being over the top.* He basically answered each question with, No, I just felt for this reason, if I could play my game off the backhand side, I have a big pocket.* I felt if I could push him back on the backhand side I would make this progress, my forehand down the line, I could make this progress.* He answered every one of Andre’s questions like a true pro.* That’s the intelligence and the thinking of that generation of player.*
Now, Murray was exactly the same.* You’re right, that generation of player is slightly ahead of the generation we see right now.* I think Nadal, Murray, because Nadal is only a year or two older than those guys, but Nadal, Murray and Novak was a unique circumstance for men’s tennis to get those three guys into the game.* But they are special tennis players that you rarely see.* We haven’t got those generation of players coming through.* We have some really good players.* But it might be the generation after that that comes through and pushes them.* But you are right, they are a level ahead of what we have at the moment.