- As it happened: Tomic v Murray
- Murray backs Tomic, after beating him
- Comment: Tomic and Kyrgios should stop talking, start winning
Roger was right. Of course he was right. Roger is only wrong when be spruiks his chances against Rafa, but other than that he gets his foppish hair falling to the right Hugh Grant side, his socks are at a righteous height and he chooses the correct cheeses to blend in a fondue.
Australian Open: Murray too good as Tomic bows out
Andy Murray takes out the young Aussie in straight sets, leaving Bernard Tomic still unable to win a set from the world number 2.
So, of course, Federer knew what he was saying: Bernie is not there yet. Talk is cheap, wins are dearer, and as competitive as Tomic was he was still unable to take as much as a set from Andy Murray, who beat him 6-4, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) at the Australian Open on Monday night.
Tomic might figure on being better than world number 10 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga or number nine Richard Gasquet, maybe even ahead of Tomas Berdych at six - but not yet - and plainly they are also another step away from world No. 2 Murray who was pushed but remained composed and in control.
It was a competitive loss for Tomic, but it was, none the less, still a straight-sets loss. Tomic is getting closer, but Federer was right - this was the time to prove bona fides by at least winning a set.
Top-10 players such as Tsonga, Berdych and Gasquet might be as far from Murray as Tomic chided Federer - at three in the world – for being from No. 1 Novak Djokovic but that was irrelevant this night. This night, he was the one playing Murray and the gulf was sufficient.
The first game of the first set established the tone: Tomic broken on serve. He could never recover the handicap and the first set was gone. The second start began the same way. Tomic spent the first two sets on his back foot.
Roger was not Nostradamus here – Murray had never lost to an Australian in 16 previous matches, so a win was hardly a surprise. Tomic made him work, and earned respect for his dogged competitiveness – not a trait always associated with him - but he was not quite there.
The Scot was reliably cranky, getting distracted and angry in the first set because someone in his coaches' box was using their phone and not concentrating. In the environment of match fixing, to say nothing of an ill father-in-law, getting angry about using a phone was a curious complaint.
An angry Murray yelled at his player's box: "Get off the phone." They did and his concentration returned.
'The Barry White of Tennis'
Tennis umpire Kader Nouni knows how to put some juice into deuce as the crowd revelled in his performance during the match between Gavrilova and Navarro.
As Murray hurried towards a win on Rod Laver Arena, on Margaret Court Arena Jo Konta became the first British woman to reach a grand slam quarter-final since 1984. And we report this on Australia Day when that country's flag is part of ours. God save their Queen.
The third set was a more balanced affair. Tomic, despite being broken early, was able to get the game back on even terms. He battled it into a tie-breaker but Murray's class won the moment.