Bernard lauds new coach
Bernard Tomic says he’s warming to new coach Velimir Zovko and his tough-school ways.
Tomic officially launches his 2014 season as defending champion at Apia International Sydney and says Zovko has spent the past month whipping the 21-year-old into the best shape of his career.
Zovko’s hardline approach to physical conditioning was on display at last week’s Hopman Cup when Tomic spent hours on the practice court even before playing matches the very same day.
“He’s a very smart guy, we get along now,” Tomic said ahead of his first-round clash in Sydney with eighth-seeded Spaniard Marcel Granollers.
“It’s the start of the second month now, we’re training well. He’s a very disciplined guy, he knows his tennis and what’s best for me and I’m happy with the way we’re going.
“Now it’s obviously tournament times and I’ve put in the hard work and hopefully it can pay off for the next few weeks.”
Zovko put Tomic through a hardcore training block in Melbourne in December and the world No.51 is hopeful his supreme fitness will lead to another solid Australian Open campaign.
He lost to Roger Federer in the third round and fourth rounds the past two years and to Rafael Nadal in the third round in 2011.
Beyond the summer, the big picture for Tomic in 2014 is Wimbledon, where the dual Grand Slam junior champion has enjoyed the best results of his 16-major career.
He reached the quarter-finals as a teenager in 2011 and the last 16 last year.
Unseeded for the Australian Open, Tomic knows he must improve his ranking and crack the top 32 by June to give himself the best shot of another deep run at the All England Club.
“That’s my biggest goal this year,” he said.
“I have zero points to defend in the claycourt season, so I have to be ready for that to give myself the chance at being a good seed maybe for Wimbledon and playing well there.”