27TH May 2009

Tomic bows out of French Open

Bernard plays a backhand during his first round match at the French Open. GETTY IMAGES

Bernard plays a backhand during his first round match at the French Open. GETTY IMAGES



Bernard Tomic has been bundled out of the first round of the French Open after losing in straight sets to Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber.

The Gold Coast wildcard was no match for the 29th seed who won 6-1 6-2 6-2 at Roland Garros.

Tomic, who made the second round of the Australian Open in January when he made his grand slam debut, got off to a bad start with the German breaking his first service game.

The 16-year-old was no match for the experience and power of the German, who gave Tomic a good workout running him all over the court during their 72-minute encounter.

At times Tomic looked puzzled about how to deal with Kohlschreiber on the clay, the Australian’s least favourite surface, despite fighting hard for points in some lengthy baseline rallies.

Towards the end of the second set, a trainer and doctor were called on to see Tomic.

The Australian appeared to be worried about his left leg but did not receive any treatment.

Tomic stayed determined throughout and tried to stage a last-ditch rally towards the end when he broke Kohlschreiber once, but the German was too strong and clinched the match.

Tomic, who had a surprise first-round win at the Australian Open over Italy’s Potito Starace, was the seventh-youngest man to compete at Roland Garros in the Open era.

Kohlschreiber will now face either Spain’s former world No.1 Juan Carlos Ferrero or Croatian Ivan Ljubicic, who is ranked 43, in the second round.

After the match Tomic said his game had been hampered by cramps in his left thigh.

“I think my leg started cramping and I could feel … if I had pushed on a lot something would have happened,” he told reporters.

“I didn’t know what it was because I [had] never felt it before.

“That got to my frustration a little bit and I started thinking about that not my game.

“Before I knew it, I lost.”

Tomic said he did not believe he was physically ready for the tough conditions on clay at the French Open after taking a few weeks off recently.

“All summer I was playing well, from the Australian Open and I won that Challenger [in Melbourne in March],” he said.

“I had a bit of a rest for a few weeks and didn’t play no tennis and went to Saratosa for a Challenger and didn’t do too well and started to come back and only played one tournament before the clay.

“I didn’t think that I was physically ready.

“But I gave it my best and hopefully in the juniors I can play well next week [at Roland Garros].”

Tomic paid tribute to Kohlschreiber, whose game he had spent a lot of time studying before facing him on the red dirt in Paris.

“He played so good,” Tomic said.

“I studied him a lot and [have] seen him around a lot.

“Today he played really well and I couldn’t get to his shots at all.

“He was hitting the ball so heavy.

“He deserved to win and that’s why he’s a top-30 player. He’s been around for the last two years in the top 30.”

Latest Result

Italian Open, R64
Benoit Paire DEFEATED Bernard Tomic 2-1 (RET) see previous results