Q. What did you learn?
BERNARD TOMIC: Look, I thought it was a really good match. The first two sets we played really good tennis. It came down to one point, I think.
I was pretty satisfied with my tennis. I was competing out there, trying to hang in there with him. He just came up with, you know, good stuff when he really needed it the most.
Q. That tiebreak, was that some of the best tennis you played?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, probably. I think close to the end of the second set was amazing tennis from both sides. We were striking the ball so good, hitting winners of any shot on the court. Just surprised how he came out from 5 2. We had a lot of long rallies at that 5 2 period. He played some good tennis just to get back. I had a chance there and I missed it. Would have been different up 6 2 or 6 3 in that tiebreak. It would have been huge.
But unfortunately he got me, played better. Like I said, I think that tiebreak was really good stuff. We both played well. He got the better of me being up two sets to love.
Q. There was a point in the tiebreak where you challenged the call. Was that designed to get up his nose? Did you want to have a breath?
BERNARD TOMIC: Oh, uhm, I didn't quite see it good. I didn't quite see it. I think it was a drop volley. Yeah, I didn't quite see the ball. I thought it might have been out. Little did I know it was well in.
It was just funny because I lost all my challenges. I think I had a chance to challenge at 5 4 when the ball was with close. It sucks having zero challenges left in the tiebreak, but what can I say?
Q. What do you take from the whole summer?
BERNARD TOMIC: I mean, look, only he beat me. I take that as something I learned a lot. He stopped me, he beat me. Full credit to him. He was the best player and greatest of all time. I'm going to continue to work hard.
It's just a matter of time when I get up to the big group of boys in the top 10. I've got to believe and do the things that I was doing the last few weeks. I know I'm going to be in there with this attitude.
Q. Even more belief you can compete with these big boys?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, absolutely. We both played pretty good out there in the first two sets. I felt a little tired in the third. He got the better of me. I've been playing amazing tennis. The first was really good apart from my first service game. I felt that was important. I started bad today and last time in Cincinnati, I lost my serve in the opening service game. That's not a good thing to do against him, to lose your first game. You lose a bit of confidence and belief.
From there we played good. He was just hitting his sweet spots when he had to. Couldn't ask for anything else. But I was satisfied with myself.
Q. Despite the loss, I suppose you want to get back to play as soon as you can. What's your next tournament?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, I'm not sure what I'm doing now. You know, I think Rotterdam, Marseille. Probably take the next six days off, then train for a bit and then play Rotterdam, head to Marseille and then head to Dubai, those tournaments.
That's probably three weeks away, so it's a good period. I can rest and train and get ready to do well in those tournaments.
Q. A couple players during the tournament have made comments about more senior players like Kei Nishikori said David Ferrer and Ryan Harrison said Novak Djokovic, people they want to emulate. Roger has been a childhood hero of yours. Is he the benchmark of your game, for example?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, a lot of players, especially in the locker room, they idolize Roger. You want to pick up anything you can from this sort of a player. He is the greatest our sport's ever had. You learn something every time you watch him. I learned something tonight as well.
You use this and you use it in a good way. It's going to make me a better player. I'm going to keep working hard. Point by point, I'm going to get my opportunities this year again and become a better player.
Q. The choice of serving first, did you get the choice?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. I elected to serve considering I was serving really well the last few weeks. But that didn't matter first service game (smiling).
Q. Not a great start. Were there a few nerves, a bit tight?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah, with sort of him, he starts really well. That sort of player starts really well. He always puts his opponent down.
A lot of players, when you play these sort of players like Roger or Novak, you lose belief before you get into the match. 80 or 90% of players that play the top guys, like with Roger, you lose your belief.
I got in there, I started to think after they mentioned all these Grand Slams leading up, Wimbledon champion six times, six times US Open champion (laughter). Then I was, Oh, crap, it's Roger. I try to block out who's on the other side of the net but couldn't quite do it after that announcement.
Yeah, but then that first service game was important. I lost it. Then I was like, Oh, no.
Q. How different was your mindset going in to face Roger tonight compared with last year?
BERNARD TOMIC: A lot different. You know, I was confident that I could have pushed it. I had a lot more chances than I did last year. I played a lot better than I did last year.
Anything could have happened if I had won that important point in the tiebreak. Giving myself two or three set points would you have been huge to turn the match around.
When he needs it the most, he plays amazing. Today I didn't hit the right shot, didn't play the right point when I needed to. He played the right tennis.
Q. Did he say anything in particular to you after the game at the net?
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. He said, Keep going, you improved. Every time I played him, he mentioned, Well done, Bernie, keep going, keep improving, which is a good thing, hearing that from somebody that's giving some advice. Keep going, keep pushing yourself.
It's important you take that onboard because, you know, you can become a better player when you get information off the world's best. You take that onboard and then you can use that to work on whatever you need to work on.
Right now I need to improve. I'm going to keep improving. I've improved a lot. But to become someone like him, or even in that area, I've got to improve more.
Q. Compare this to the previous meeting.
BERNARD TOMIC: Yeah. Just showed me that I'm playing better each year. You know, I'm pushing myself in the off season. That's why I'm playing the tennis I'm playing.
He beat me. I'm satisfied with the result here in Melbourne, especially the last few weeks. Just need to see what he does this tournament. I'm barracking him to win. I'm sure he has a good chance of winning.
And, yeah, it's always a good feeling if you can lose to the champion (smiling).
Q. Something sharp on your pillow, Bernie?
BERNARD TOMIC: That was actually my friend over here. As I went to sleep, he woke me up. He was staying right next door. Don't know what he did that for.
Q. You barely lost a match in Australia the last couple of years. How do you sustain that form when you go overseas, like what Roger tried to challenge you to do last year?
BERNARD TOMIC: Obviously he did. I remember those words. I didn't quite do it after I left here.
I've got the right goal, the mindset to do what it is I need to do. I'm going to sit down and have my rest time, train, get ready for each tournament I play, like I did here, like I did last week and the week before.
It's a challenge, but I've committed to myself I'm up for it. I can't wait for the next tournament to start, for me to start training and getting better.
Interview with Tomic after Roger's match:
Q. Did you catch Sara's match this afternoon?
BERNARD TOMIC: I saw it. She won. It's important for her. First win in a Grand Slam junior event, which is huge. My mum was really happy. Thank God she got a win and got a feel for the courts. Hopefully she can continue to win. We'll see.
Access Player Links
Bernard Tomic Bio