Tomic targets claycourt success
A confidence-building Davis Cup performance has Bernard Tomic targeting a breakthrough claycourt season and a further rise up the world rankings.
Statistically, clay has been Tomic’s weakest surface and he’s struggled to make an impact on it in recent years.
But the 20-year-old believes his two wins on clay in Australia’s Davis Cup triumph over Uzbekistan could be a catalyst for a strong campaign leading into next month’s French Open.
The world No.43 will need just that if he is to achieve his goal of cracking the world’s top 10 by the end of the year.
Tomic scored strong wins over world No.46 Denis Istomin and claycourt specialist Farrukh Dustov in the remote city of Namangan, Uzbekistan.
“It’s huge coming to this sort of place and being able to play the tennis I’ve played,” Tomic told AAP.
“It’s not easy and you’ve really got to focus and sometimes in the past I haven’t really had that focus.
“It’s huge for me and I proved I should be back in the (Davis Cup) team and belong here.
“Now I’ve got to do the right things and step up and focus and really get going on these next few claycourt tournaments and start getting my ranking up. That’s the goal.”
Tomic heads into next week’s Monte Carlo Masters with an 8-13 ATP win-loss record on clay.
His best result in clay events last year was reaching the quarterfinals in Munich before losing in the second round at Roland Garros.
After a brilliant start to the 2013 season in which he claimed a maiden ATP title in Sydney, Tomic’s form has tapered somewhat.
But he said the time spent training with the Davis Cup squad had been valuable.
“I sort of slipped off at a few tournaments when I was sick (in Miami) but I’m happy now,” Tomic said.
“The last 10 days, I’ve knuckled down, worked hard and it’s got the best out of me.”