Nadal tells Tomic to keep working hard | Pakistan Today

Nadal tells Tomic to keep working hard

MELBOURNE – Rafael Nadal has some practical advice for rising Australian teen Bernard Tomic if he is to realise his enormous potential and become a future top-liner in men’s tennis.
The 18-year-old Tomic, ranked 198 places below the world number one, was far from overrun in a daunting night match on Rod Laver Arena, keeping the heavily perspiring Nadal on court for 2hr 30min before he went out fighting, 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.
Asked what Tomic had to do to take the next big step, Nadal said: “I can tell you what I did. What I did was work all the time, to work with humility and motivation to be a better player.” Tomic took it all on board and was respectful for the words of encouragement from Nadal, who also heralded his career on the same court as a 17-year-old in a fiercely contested three-setter with Lleyton Hewitt at the 2004 Open.
“That’s something I’ll take from a player like that,” Tomic said. “He’s a true champion. It’s very nice to get that advice from him.” The match statistics convey how well Tomic played on the big stage against the world’s leading player. The confident Australian, with a penetrative flat forehand, out-hit Nadal 39 winners to 32, out-aced him 11 to four and claimed two service breaks.
At times he dominated the rallies, putting the Spaniard on the defensive in the backcourt and made the top seed fight all the way without flagging from the physical intensity. He even got a double service break to lead the world number one 4-0 early in the second only to be reeled in.
The ambitious Tomic, who was born in Stuttgart, came to Australia as a three-year-old and is coached by his former cab-driving father John, is planning to break into the top-100 rankings by the end of this year. “I think absolutely, if I play well, I’ll definitely be in the top hundred,” he said.
“If I’m healthy during the year and I play a lot of tournaments, there’s no doubt about it, I can break the top hundred.” Tomic said he plans to play more tournaments in America and look to compete in around 22-24 tournaments this year. Tomic, who had a growth spurt last year and is currently hovering around 1.93m (6ft 4in), has plenty of improvement to come in his physical strength and maximising his service power.
But it was an enriching experience standing on the opposite side of the net in a big match against the world number one before a global television audience. “Physically-wise he’s a machine. He just wears you down,” Tomic said of Nadal. “That’s where I’m going to need to improve on in the next few years. “I’m improving on that since the last year and the year before. It’s getting better for me physical wise. I think there’s a lot more to improve on like that.

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