Djokovic predicts bright future for Tomic
Novak Djokovic predicts Bernard Tomic will soon become a force on the men's tour, but says he needs to become an anywhere, anytime player first.
World No.1 Novak Djokovic predicts Australian Bernard Tomic will become a force on the men’s tour in the not-too-distant future, but says the rising star needs to become an anywhere, anytime player first.
Djokovic felt the full brunt of Tomic’s talents in a shock 6-4 6-4 loss to the 20-year-old at the Hopman Cup on Wednesday night.
Tomic was at his sizzling best during the 84-minute romp, unleashing 25 winners to 12 to notch his second career win over Djokovic, with his first triumph coming during a light-hearted exhibition match in 2010.
A gruelling fitness campaign at the end of last season has left Tomic in the best shape of his life.
But a more mature mindset has also benefited Tomic, who was dogged by on and off-court controversies in 2012.
Djokovic predicted a bright future for Tomic, but said the Queenslander’s next challenge was to produce the goods on a more consistent basis.
“He’s very talented and tactically plays very well for somebody his age,” Djokovic said.
“But obviously for him it’s important to be consistently successful throughout the whole year.
“I mean he has been playing really well in Australia the last few years but he wasn’t managing to maintain that level.
“I guess it’s up to him to see how he can adjust to many different surfaces. But he definitely has the game.
“He has a great touch and he can play equally well in defence and offence, so he has this great transition.
“I see he physically got stronger.
“He moves well for his size and has a good serve. So it’s just about the experience.”
Tomic, who was beaten by Djokovic during the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2011, said the pain he went through during his gruelling off-season fitness campaign was well worth it.
“I was doing a lot of stuff. A lot more hours than I’ve ever been doing,” Tomic said.
“Looking back on it, it was hard. But hard work does pay off.
“I’ve also been working on my head a lot and trying to focus in between points.
“The past year, on the court, was very difficult for me.
“I lack concentration. I play really well for a few sets and then lose it.
“So I’m happy I’m not losing my focus.
“And I’ve also improved a lot in my movement and my serve especially.”
Australia suffered a 2-1 loss to Serbia on Wednesday, and will need to beat Italy’s pairing of Andreas Seppi and Francesca Schiavone on Thursday night to have any chance of reaching Saturday’s final.