Australian teenager Bernard Tomic insists he can upstage history-chasing top seed Rafael Nadal in their third-round Australian Open blockbuster on Saturday night.
Tomic believes anything is possible after upsetting Spanish 31st seed Feliciano Lopez 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 on Thursday to reach the last 32 of a grand slam event for the first time.
“I’m hitting the ball great, my confidence is up there, especially after two matches, I played a left-hander before I played him, that’s always good,” Tomic said.
“There’s not much weaknesses (in his game but) I don’t think he’ll like my game.
“He’ll like the players that give him a lot of time, a lot of rally shots. The way I mix it up, he’s not going to like.”
Not since Mark Philippoussis shot down Andre Agassi in the fourth round at Wimbledon en route to the 2003 final at the All England Club has an Australian brought down the men’s world No 1.
But while Philippoussis was already a Grand Slam finalist and accomplished grasscourt exponent, Tomic will enter his clash with Nadal as an 18-year-old wild card ranked 198 places behind the reigning French Open, Wimbledon and US Open champion.
Nadal has won his past 23 grand slam matches and is bidding to become the first man since Rod Laver in 1969 to hold all four major titles simultaneously.
Tomic, though, is undeterred and earnestly believes he can stop the Spanish juggernaut.
“Oh, I believe so,” Tomic said.
“I mean, it’s an opportunity that I get. He’s the world No 1. I’ll just have a go.
“When you step out against a player like that, you don’t have nothing to lose.
“But I’m not going to go and win this match if I go out there and play not to lose. I’ve got to play to win.”