Exclusive interview with Bernard Tomic.
The Australian teenager, the only teenager in the top 50 and a quarter-finalist at last summer’s Wimbledon, has told The Tennis Space how he is learning to deal with the attention and the expectations of life on the tennis tour: “I’ve had some bad press, that’s life, you learn.” Tomic has chosen not to take the safe option of being boring in interviews: “Yeah, you can decide to do that but then you look like a p—-.”
Is there added pressure being Australia’s No 1 at such a young age? “There was a bit of added pressure last year but now we have another player that’s coming though, Matt Ebden, so that’s good. I’ve learnt to relax and just play tennis. When you think too much, you don’t play good. For me, when I relax I play my best tennis.”
You’ve had a bit of stick from the media at home? “I get some bad press but that’s life, you learn. I am young and that’s the problem. I am coming into this as something new, I’ve got to learn how to deal with it and I’m doing a good job of it. It’s not a nice feeling when you….sometimes bad things happen, small things turn out to be big things because everyone’s following you and what you’re doing but you learn at a young age, no one’s perfect and in the future I will continue to get better and better and learn how to deal with these things more, and not worry about these outside things too much.”
I suppose you could just decide to say nothing and be boring, in press? “Yeah you can decide to do that but then you look like a p—-. It’s a new experience for me. I have to learn to deal with it. I am sure that Roger (Federer) and Novak (Djokovic) at their age, they had some problems when they were young, but they learned to deal with it.”
You live in Monte Carlo now – how are you finding that? “It is very chilled out, not a lot to do but that’s what you want. There’s not a lot of other stuff going on, it’s not like any other city, like New York or London. It’s peaceful, it’s calm and that’s what you want before going onto the next tournament. I practise at the Monte Carlo Country Club. I don’t spend a lot of time there but when I do I manage to train well. I’d love to see at the end of the year the number of days I come back here, because you’ve got tournaments every week.”
Tomorrow (Friday) on The Tennis Space: Bernard Tomic on why the Wimbledon grass is “perfect” for his game.