Wednesday, January 11, 2012

No pressure on me: Tomic

Updated January 10, 2012 17:23:00

Bernard Tomic has shrugged off suggestions he could suffer a Samantha Stosur-style nosedive at next week's Australian Open.

As Australia's highest-ranked male player, Tomic dismissed the suggestion he might be affected by the weight of expectation.

Stosur, the women's US Open champion, was again outplayed by her perpetual tormentor, Italian Francesca Schiavone, who knocked her out of the first round of the Sydney International on Monday.

The 19-year-old Tomic, a Brisbane International semi-finalist last week, will be one of the eight high-calibre players contesting the Kooyong Classic starting in Melbourne on Wednesday.

He will face Czech World number seven and Hopman Cup winner Tomas Berdych in his first match.

The others against whom Tomic could test himself are French pair Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and Gael Monfils, former world number one Andy Roddick, United States star Mardy Fish, as well as promising young Canadian Milos Raonic and Austrian veteran Jurgen Melzer.

But the 37th-ranked Tomic says his off-court attitude is as calm and unworried as he appeared while playing matches.

"There's a lot of pressure going around, especially for me being young but I like to play tennis and enjoy it out there. I don't worry about it off court," Tomic said.

"I know Sam lost but I'm playing well and I'm confident, but I'll worry about the business outside when I lose.

"I'll have fun and wherever this year takes me, it takes me. I'm not really worried about where my ranking is.

"That's why I'm doing well. That's what I like to focus on and I know my ranking will come after that."

US great John McEnroe this week earmarked Tomic as a future major winner, but Roddick was more circumspect when speaking about the young Australian.

"We'll see," Roddick said.

"Everybody ranked at a certain ranking is a potential grand slam winner, especially when they're at a young age.

"They're for sure going to be top 15, top 10 players but it's hard to predict who becomes top five for a long time and who doesn't, but they'll certainly have a shot at it."

Tsonga will meet Melzer in the opening match on Wednesday followed by the clash between Tomic and Berdych.

Fish will then meet Raonic while the last match will be between Monfils and Roddick.


Tags: sport, tennis, australia

First posted January 10, 2012 17:19:58

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