Tomic focused on Davis Cup
Rising star Bernard Tomic has committed to emulating Lleyton Hewitt by making Davis Cup a major priority in his career.
The 18-year-old Wimbledon quarterfinalist joins veteran campaigner Hewitt in the Asia-Oceania zone qualifying tie against China starting in Beijing on Friday.
Tomic, now Australia’s highest-ranked player at No.71, is confident he can help propel the team to the World Group play-offs later this year.
He has one tie behind him – winning both his singles against Taiwan in Melbourne last year – but believes he can follow Cup great Hewitt, 30, and become the backbone of the team in the future.
“I think I can,” Tomic told AAP from Beijing on Wednesday.
“I think I can play well in Davis Cup and when I play in the team spirit it’s totally different to playing in individual tournaments.
“I think in the years to come I’ll get better and improve even more which will help out the Davis Cup more.
“There’s nothing better than Davis Cup. As a tennis player your main focus is to reach No.1 and to win grand slams but to win Davis Cup is something different and something I want to achieve in my career.
“As long as I stay healthy throughout my career and get the chances to play Davis Cup it will be really good.”
Tomic said he was focused on helping to launch Australia back into the World Group.
“Absolutely, that’s where we want to be and we obviously want to win it,” he said.
“We won it years back and I think we can have a good shot at it sooner or later, as long as we get through qualifying now and at the end of the year.
“Everyone in our team wants to get back to where we were, winning the Davis Cup.”
Hewitt is Australia’s most successful Davis Cup player with a remarkable 36-9 record in singles and 8-3 record in doubles.
While Tomic said the team was confident of beating the Chinese, he described their main players – Ze Zhang and Di Wu – as “tricky”.
“I played against them in [second tier] Challengers last year,” Tomic said.
“Di Wu is really solid, he can play good tennis.
“Zhang has also had a few good wins and they can be tricky, especially on the (indoor hardcourt) surface they chose here.
“We are the favourites going into this but you never know and I think we have to prepare really well for this – the two singles matches on Friday are going to be really important.”
The other members of the Australian team are Chris Guccione and Marinko Matosevic.