Bernard’s blog: 21 January
It was a dream come true to win a first round in my first Grand Slam on Monday against Potito Starace from Italy. With the crowd behind me, it was an unbelievable experience.
I worked hard in the hot conditions at Melbourne Park and felt a lot of excitement when I won.
When I was growing up I looked up to Federer, Nadal and Hewitt winning matches at the Open and hoped I could one day be like them.
It feels a bit weird now that it is happening and I am playing at the Open but it’s a great experience and big thrill to play in front of a big crowd.
I didn’t feel any nerves heading into the match because I just wanted to enjoy the experience.
The crowd gave me the motivation when I needed it, especially in those tiebreakers.
It’s really funny – I haven’t lost a tiebreaker here yet, even last year, so if I can get into tiebreakers in the next match against Gilles Muller it will be good for me.
I’ve seen Muller play a little bit, he plays a serve-volley game and reached the quarterfinals of the US Open so he’s a great player and I’m sure it’ll be a tough match.
It’s a big step up playing five-set matches but my body is feeling pretty good, and Muller had a tough one on Monday – he was on court for over four and a half hours so he should be feeling it more than I am.
Yesterday I had two practice sessions but I also spent some time relaxing, watching a few tapes and playing a bit of pool.
The win has probably put more expectations on me now but I’ve just got to put my head down and play well this year to try and get my ranking up.
I read the newspaper a little bit the day after my match and saw myself on TV but now I’m completely focused on tonight’s game.
It will be a huge thrill to play on Rod Laver Arena again. I played one match there last year when I won the Australian Open Junior Final but tonight will be in front of an even bigger crowd.
It’s a new experience but any new experience is good to have and hopefully I can keep going and put in another good performance.