Bernard Tomic has fired a shot at 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer in retaliation to comments the former world No.1 made in Brisbane a fortnight ago.
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Following Tomic's straight sets victory against fellow Australian John Millman on Saturday night, the 23-year-old took aim at the Swiss great, who had questioned whether the Queenslander would finally make good on his quest to become a top 10 player.
Tomic, who will take on Andy Murray in the fourth round on Monday, was asked whether Federer's comments at the Brisbane International motivated or offended him, leaving no secret as to the impact it had.
"Yeah, well, he has his predictions," Tomic said.
"I think he's also far away from [Novak] Djokovic as well if he wants to say that. If he believes I'm very far away from the top 10, I also believe my prediction that he's nowhere near Novak's tennis right now."
Federer was asked about Tomic's development on his way to reaching the final of the Brisbane International, providing a forthright summation of where he believed the Australian was at in his career.
"He's been good, but then top 10 is another story," Federer said earlier this month.
"The year is not just one month long or one week long. It's 52 weeks. It's every day. That (is what) he's been struggling to show, to be quite honest. Many seasons now in a row we have seen or heard that top 10 is the goal, and he's missed out on it by a long shot.
"I think before speaking so highly, maybe it's good to take it to the next level, whatever that is. We shall see."
Clearly Tomic didn't take kindly to Federer's criticism, but said his words were acting as inspiration.
"It also motivates me. I'm working for that," Tomic said.
"When I'm playing well, I'm a top-eight player in the world. My ranking has to get there. I'm going to work every day this year getting to the top 10. It's not just getting to the top 10. I'm going to get there. It's about staying there for a while. It's about being consistent.
"These guys that have been there the last five, six years on the tour, you have [Tomas] Berdych, [David] Ferrer, [Kei] Nishikori that have been there for a while, they're consistent. They're there for four or five years. That's what I want to become, and possibly be even better after I get there."
While Tomic cruised past Millman 6-4, 7-6, 6-2, the match wasn't without controversy after play came to a halt for the second night in a row with music echoing around Rod Laver Arena.
Like Nick Kyrgios on Friday night, Tomic was put off by the noise, however his reaction was significantly different to his close friend.
"I think Nick's right, he's right on that," Tomic said.
"There was some music as well, that I heard as well. I was about to serve for the set at 5-4. I heard this music. I don't know where it was coming from. You know, it was difficult. It's not easy because we're not used to playing.
"It's not the NBA where there's music going in the middle of the game. You know what I mean? It's like, What the hell is this? I can see why it affected Nick last night. I'm glad they turned it off because I would have got mad as well."
While Kyrgios has worn the full brunt of criticism this tournament, Tomic is no stranger to public scrutiny having lived through it the past five years.
He admits he feels some empathy for Kyrgios, however admits he has a vastly different personality.
"I can relate to it. I know what it's like, obviously what Nick's going through," Tomic said.
"He does give a lot more emotion out there than other players, even myself. But I do understand what he goes through. Maybe he goes a little over the top sometimes, but that's him. That's his personality. He shows emotion like that. I do it differently. I sort of keep it inside me. It takes a lot for me to explode.
"It was getting to me there today with the music, so can I feel for him with the music. I think they turned it off with him ... for three, four minutes it was playing. For me they turned it off within a minute, which was good. If they had played a little bit more, I would have showed a bit of Nick today, too."