Sydney NSW, Australia, 5 January 2014 | AAP

Bernard Tomic has his share of critics, but Juan Martin Del Potro isn’t among them.

The towering world No.5 had nothing but nice words to say about Tomic on Sunday.

Asked whether he was surprised that the Australian hadn’t kicked on to the top 20 after a promising career start, the Argentine was philosophical.

“I think he is still young and has a big future,” Del Potro said at the Sydney International on Sunday.

“Already he has had good tournaments, beating good players.

“If he has the time and he doesn’t feel the pressure of the crowd and the tennis people … I think he has everything to go far.

“He is very smart to play and we respect him a lot on court. He is going to be a really dangerous player this season and in the future too.”

For his part Del Potro is aiming to break into the top three this year.

After a career blighted by injury, the towering Argentine enjoyed a consistent 2013 and felt he could challenge the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray in 2014.

The 2009 US Open champion has a bye in the first round of the Sydney International and will play the winner of Frenchman Nicolas Mahut and a qualifier in a second round match.