Video: Bernard’s blog, 4 March
“This is a dream come true for me and with all pride I’m going to try my best and pull this team to victory as much as I can and support in any way,” Tomic said following Thursday’s draw.
Tomic and Peter Luczak were today named as Australia’s singles players for the opening two rubbers, with Carsten Ball and Paul Hanley teaming up in the doubles on Saturday.
Australian Davis Cup team captain John Fitzgerald said choosing between Tomic and Ball for the second singles berth was one of the toughest selection decisions he has had to make during his tenure.
“We had three players [Luczak, Ball and Tomic] who were very very close,” explained Fitzgerald.
“I think it was a line-ball decision, it really was and I procrastinated over this decision more than most.”
Fitzgerald conceded that Ball, currently ranked 117, was disappointed but he expects him to bounce back and one day feature in the singles for Australia.
“I think he’s a bit of a sleeping giant, Carsten, and I think he’s going to come to the fore very shortly.”
The No.1 position went to Melburnian Luczak, as expected, who Fitzgerald described as “one of the better guys I’ve ever met in this sport”. The 30 year old will face Chinese Taipei No.2 Chu-Huan Yi in the second rubber on Friday.
“This is my first tie in Melbourne, I’m a Melbourne boy, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m sure I’ll have a lot of friends and family supporting me tomorrow,” said Luczak.
With Hewitt out of the team, Luczak and doubles specialist Paul Hanley are the two most experienced players in this tie, putting Luczak in a leadership role that is new to him.
“It’s a bit of a funny role, I’ve always got to play with Wayno [Wayne Arthurs] and Lleyton [Hewitt], so it’s a bit of a different role. But the guys have been great, the young guys, the orange boys, have been fantastic and it’s made our job a lot easier.”
Tomic will play Friday’s first singles rubber at 11:00 am against Chinese Taipei’s No.1, Tsung-Hua Yang, in what will be a re-match of their junior Australian Open final of 2008, which Tomic won.
“We’ve played a lot of times and he knows what he’s up against and I know how he plays and if I put everything that I can into that match then hopefully we can pull it off.”
Tomic said that he’s not feeling any extra pressure representing his country in Davis Cup as opposed to just himself.
“There’s only pride when I put this jacket on and represent Australia. I’m just going to try my best and that’s my goal in the next few days.”
And Fitzgerald is confident that Tomic will step up for the occasion, something he has shown he is capable of in the past.
“He’s a player that I think will step into the role of an important Davis Cup player very quickly. I think he likes the big stage, he’s shown that in the past, and we believe in him,” said Fitzgerald.