Tomic ready to showcase game in Eastbourne
Bernard Tomic is "all systems go" for his last chance to showcase his grasscourt credentials before Wimbledon officials announce seedings on Wednesday.
Bernard Tomic is “all systems go” for his last chance to showcase his grasscourt credentials before Wimbledon officials announce their seedings on Wednesday.
After enjoying a first-round bye, fourth-seeded Tomic will play either Italian Fabio Fagnini or Spaniard Albert Ramos on Tuesday in the Wimbledon warm-up event at Eastbourne.
It will be Tomic’s first outing since withdrawing midway through his tournament opener at Halle last week with stomach cramps when making his grasscourt season start.
The Australian teenager last year became the youngest Wimbledon quarterfinalist since Boris Becker successfully defended his crown in 1986 and – after climbing into the world’s top 30 this season – had been hoping to gain an elevated seeding at the All England Club.
Wimbledon is the only one of the four annual grand slam events in which the officials don’t necessarily strictly follow the world rankings.
Although it remains unlikely, if Tomic is promoted from 27th in the rankings to a top 24 seeding, the 19-year-old is guaranteed to avoid running into any of the top eight seeds – including big guns Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or Andy Murray – until at least the fourth round.
Team Tomic said the exciting youngster was “all systems go and ready for Eastbourne”.
“He’s really looking forward to getting stuck into the grass season,” Tomic’s manager Fraser Wright said on Sunday.
“It really complements his style and allows him to play his game.”
One player who believes the young Queenslander is capable of again causing some damage at the grasscourt major is Tommy Haas.
The German veteran beat Federer in the Halle final on Sunday after getting a brief first-hand look at Tomic in the first round.
Tomic quit after falling behind 5-2 in the opening set.
“I hope that he will get well soon for Wimbledon,” Haas said.
“He reached the quarters last year with (the chance of) a 2-1 lead against Djokovic. He’s one of the newcomers on the tour who is really dangerous. We will surely hear a lot about him in the future.”
Tomic’s withdrawal in Germany was initially shrouded in mystery.
“Afterwards I asked him out of curiosity and he just said that he hasn’t been feeling well since the French Open,” Haas said.
“He got a little sick there. He was fighting it off for the past 10 days and came here a couple of days ago and still wasn’t sure how he was going to feel.
“He just got a couple of practice hits in and just realised midway through the first set that he wasn’t mentally or physically there to compete on the high level that he wanted to compete at.
“He’s, I think, smart enough and old enough and has been around long enough already now too … to win matches in general you have to be fully fit or at least play on a level where you are going to concentrate and fight your way through.
“If you’re not there, why bother being out there?”
While Tomic competes at Eastbourne, his Davis Cup teammate and 2002 champion Lleyton Hewitt will fine-tune for Wimbledon at an exhibition event in suburban London.
The 31-year-old wildcard is sure to get a good workout with scheduled matches against world No.5 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Thursday and 2010 Wimbledon runner-up Tomas Berdych on Friday.
The Wimbledon draw takes place on Friday, with the tournament starting next Monday.