Bernard Tomic admits that he’s the underdog in his first-round match against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, but gives himself a chance to pull off the upset. The 21-year-old reached the final of Sydney last week and has played the Spaniard once, at the 2011 Australian Open, when he lost in straight sets.
“I have to stay patient and not lose my head too early, not go for broke and think you have to go for everything, because you really don't,” Tomic said. “He’s going to be very intimidating to play. You just have to stay with him. I mean, he is human. He does mistake, obviously not as much as the other players, but I've got to play very, very good tennis to have any chance. . . I have to play the right tennis to have any chance of winning… I have to be on my game, really embrace the moment, have fun, go for my shots.”
Tomic’s countryman, Lleyton Hewitt, said that his Davis Cup teammate must put it out of his mind that he is playing a first-round match against an all-time great.
“[Tomic] does get up for the big matches, playing the big names,” Hewitt said. “I have no doubt he's going to play a good match. Yeah, it's going to be tough for him, though, to go with Rafa for five sets. That's the tough thing. It turns into a physical battle. That's what Rafa does to everyone out there. The kind of pain and stuff that Novak had to go through to win a few years ago on center court, that's what it takes. That's why it's so hard to beat Rafa. It's going to be a big ask obviously. I can definitely see the first couple of sets with Bernie, he'll get his chances.”