God-given talent and Australian accents are the only things Alex de Minaur and Bernard Tomic have in common. The two pros have extremely different approaches to the game, and will face off for the first time in Friday's Atlanta quarterfinals.
Fresh off a 58-minute loss to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Wimbledon, in which he was fined for a lack of effort, Tomic has played some seriously good ball in Atlanta. He began with a third-set tiebreaker win over Frances Tiafoe, his best match in recent memory, and he backed it up with a straight-sets win over compatriot Matthew Ebden. I'm not sure which was more surprising.
This is just the second time Tomic has strung together consecutive victories in 2019, and he'll need to build off his momentum to have a chance against de Minaur. The Australian No. 1 has struggled since the Australian Open, but moved as quick as ever back on his beloved hard courts Thursday, when he defeated Bradley Klahn in straight sets. De Minaur's unrelenting speed and pressure is likely to give Tomic fits, but look for Tomic to play his best against Lleyton Hewitt’s protege. Tomic has publicly feuded with de Minaur’s coach/mentor in the past; motivation, for once, shouldn't be a question mark for Bernie.
In the end, look for de Minaur's speed and consistency to outlast the self-proclaimed not-so-fit Tomic. But any match where Tomic’s effort level will (probably) be elevated is one you that don’t want to miss.