Tiley: keep a lid on Tomic expectations
Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley says he expects great things from prodigious Aussie talent Bernard Tomic.
But Tiley, also Tennis Australia’s director of tennis, warned the public not to expect too much, too soon.
“Bernard had a breakthrough year in 2011. (He reached the) Wimbledon quarterfinals and got to just under No.40 in the world. He (became) the youngest player in the top 100, and still is the youngest player in the top 100,” Tiley said
“We all have high expectations – as a public we want him to be winning Grand Slams already. He’s just turned 20, so he’s still seven years off the average age of the top 100 players in the world.
“He’s still a young player and he’s competing among the best in the world, and players now know his game, so he has to continually make adjustments. As a great tennis player you evolve on that journey, and Bernard’s learning that. But we’ll see some great things from him.”
The Queenslander struggled to match his 2011 efforts in the season just passed, slipping from a high of No.27 in June to outside the top 50 by November, and relinquishing his top Australian ranking to the vastly-improved Marinko Matosevic.
It was a year also marked by several off-court incidents that thrust the youngster into the news for the wrong reasons. Yet Tiley believes Tomic has learned some lessons, and says Tennis Australia will continue to support him as he attempts to rebound.
“We’ve supported Bernard from day one, and we’ve always been there for him. We continue to be there for him. As you do with anyone on a long journey, you’re going to be hot-and-cold with the relationship, simply because you want nothing more than for the kids to do well,” he explained.
“We have standards that we not only set for Bernard but for everyone else. We expect the players to meet them, and if they do, they get the support, and if they’re not putting in 100 per cent and doing what they need to be doing, they don’t. It’s a simple formula and it works for everyone.”
The signs are there that Tomic is on track.
Beginning his 2013 campaign at the Hopman Cup in Perth after an intense training block in the off-season, Tomic staged a stunning comeback against German veteran Tommy Haas to upstage the world No.21 7-6(6) 3-6 7-5.
“That was a good win,” Tiley observed.
“He hasn’t played many matches in the last couple of months but to come back and do that was a good effort.”
Tomic will continue his Australian Open 2013 preparations in Perth, teaming with Ashleigh Barty at the Hopman Cup and taking on Serbia in their second tie on Wednesday 2 January.