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Confident Tomic serves it up to Federer

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Third round awaits Tomic

Bernard Tomic fights his way through the second round, his four-set match against Germany's Daniel Brands pushing out to three tie-breaks 6-7, 7-5, 7-6, 7-6.

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Tomic staying on message - work hard

Tomic again makes 2+2=5

ROGER Federer presumed the then-teenager Bernard Tomic might be intimidated by him when they first met. Then Tomic took a set off him and he figured the kid was confident enough not to be cowed as others might be by the weight of Federer's grand slam titles.

Bernard Tomic celebrates his win against Daniel Brands.

Bernard Tomic celebrates his win against Daniel Brands. Photo: Getty Images

''There's certain characters and certain players that have an easier time to play against good players. I was one of those as well. There's other players who are much more overwhelmed by an occasion like that,'' said Federer ahead of his blockbuster clash with Tomic on Saturday night.

''To me, he seems to be more of a guy that likes to be on centre court, playing against the top guys, feels like he belongs there. I think it's going to be make it easier for him to play me.''

He recognises Tomic's record suggests he is a better player now - 10 straight wins this year. And Federer is mindful of the crowd support for the last remaining Australian. But after 1000 ATP tour matches there is little he has not experienced, weathered and overcome before.

''I don't think it matters whether he's the last Australian or 10 more. I think there's always excitement about Aussies playing here. I played him here last year. The crowd was great. I played him in Davis Cup. Crowds were fair there, too. I expect something similar. If it's not, if it's totally for him, that's fine too.

''I'm always excited when the crowd gets into it.''

Federer was dismissive of the slant on Tomic comments that could suggest he was baiting the former world No.1, cheekily cautioning that Federer had to beat Nikolay Davydenko first to reach him. Federer won in straight sets 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 in two hours. Federer felt the young player might have been ''lured'' into making such comments and so they were irrelevant.

Apparently, though, there is a good time to play Federer and according to Tomic that time is now. ''I feel so confident. This is the perfect time to play him,'' Tomic said. ''I think I've got a good attitude to win. I've beaten a lot of good players over the past two weeks, especially Novak. I think I can do it.

''I'm ready. I mean, I'm not going to say I don't have the belief. I do have the belief now. It's possible. I showed that in Perth (when he defeated Djokovic in the Hopman Cup) that you can beat these players. Now I'm going to try to beat him.''

The easier-said-than-done approach to beating Federer requires breaking him in the first set and putting him on the back foot, Tomic said.

And his serve is now a major weapon. Tomic hit 26 aces en route to his 10th straight win of the summer on Thursday. ''That's probably the best I've ever served,'' Tomic said after beating German qualifier Daniel Brands 6-7 (4-7), 7-5, 7-6 (7-3), 7-6 (10-8) in two hours and 55 minutes.

The 20-year-old has now gone 76 consecutive service games without being broken. ''Tells you I'm serving really well,'' he said. ''I'm going to use all this confidence in the next round.''

To progress further, Tomic must now end Federer's record run of 34 consecutive grand slam quarter-final appearances.

38 comments so far

  • As much as Roger acts the good guy off the court, once he steps out there with his racquet, he's ruthless. I'd imagine he'd want to teach Bernard a lesson, and make a big statement to the young guys on tour - "I may be 31 but you blokes have a long way to go..."

    He did it to Novak in 2006, after Djokovic yapped in the media, then Roger proceeded to mop the floor with him. Roger would want to let every other guy on tour know that he plans to be at/near the top of men's tennis for a few more years

    Commenter
    Wes Mantooth
    Date and time
    January 18, 2013, 8:51AM
    • Absolutely. Best place to teach this young whelp a lesson? Rod Laver Arena in front of his home crowd.

      Commenter
      MC
      Location
      Melb
      Date and time
      January 18, 2013, 9:23AM
  • Don't get too exited......

    Commenter
    Hash Sen
    Location
    Bed
    Date and time
    January 18, 2013, 9:02AM
    • Not going anywhere.

      Commenter
      Doug
      Location
      Hobart
      Date and time
      January 18, 2013, 1:10PM
  • Crush him like a bug, Roger.

    Commenter
    Siamese
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    January 18, 2013, 9:10AM
    • I think Tomic has shown scant respect for someone of Federer's caliber... I hope Federer blasts him off the court if only for a lesson in humility. Tomic may well be very good at tennis, he needs to learn how to equally as good with his mouth....

      Commenter
      Geoff
      Location
      Doncaster
      Date and time
      January 18, 2013, 9:12AM
      • Absolutely correct. Likes of Tomic bring a digusting reputation to Australia.

        Commenter
        sensible
        Date and time
        January 18, 2013, 9:20AM
      • "Tomic bring a digusting reputation to Australia"

        Garbage. Do you hate the US because of the behaviour of Serena Williams? Heaps of tennis players have attitude, are arrogant, petty etc. etc. just like the rest of us.

        Blow him off the court Bernard!

        Commenter
        Dan
        Location
        Sorrento
        Date and time
        January 18, 2013, 10:25AM
      • @sensible

        you clearly believe everything you read. the media constantly bait Tomic with leading and suggestive questioning, knowing his youth and honesty will make him say something that society considers wrong.

        If you want proof, watch AFL - i love it, but i dont bother listening to the players, as they are trained to be media robots very early on. Exceptions for j brown who is usually good value, and of course aker, but he can go over the top

        Commenter
        matty
        Location
        melb
        Date and time
        January 18, 2013, 12:27PM
    • i think its great that Tomic is talking up his chances. Why shouldn't he? Too succeed you have to have belief and with very good form coming in he has teh confidence to perform at his best and knows he will have to raise his game to do so.
      Will be very interseting if tomic gets a good start.

      Commenter
      Damian
      Location
      Toorak
      Date and time
      January 18, 2013, 9:18AM

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