Roger Federer doesn’t even have to be playing and he can mess with your head – just ask Bernard Tomic.
Australian appeared slow to start in his four-set win over Stanislas
Wawrinka and he later put it down to nerves – and the 16-time grand
Apparently Federer’s mere presence with the rest
of the Swiss Davis Cup team in the rather confined space of Royal
Sydney’s main court was enough to have Tomic second guessing himself.
“In the first set I was (nervous),” said Tomic.
“I didn’t play my game in the first few games and was a little bit nervous; having Roger watch you is a bit difficult.
saw him there, it’s a bit difficult when you look up to your idol …
but it’s a good thing I got the team off to a good start.”
said he took plenty of courtside advice from team captain Pat Rafter
who urged him to keep fighting as Wawrinka’s winners started drying up
and the errors began to flow.
“(Rafter said) to hang in there
after that first set. He was serving well and a high percentage and
there was not a lot I could do,” said Tomic, who had some of his own
issues with blisters on his hand.
“He was saying to me just to stay in there and keep having a go at it and things changed in the second set.”
racked up the opening rubber to register a perfect 4-0 singles record
in the competition Tomic admitted he wouldn’t be as overawed playing
the 16-time grand slam champion for the first time in the reverse
singles on Sunday.
But coming out swinging would be another matter entirely.
love to think you could go out against Roger and just play like that
but he’s one of those guys who plays a bit different and can get you in
positions where you can’t really play, like I do to some people,” Tomic
“So it’s hard to come out and play good quality tennis against a player like Roger.”
Asked about how he’d tackle arguably the greatest tennis player to have lived he wasn’t exactly equivocal.
“I don’t know. I think I’ll just pray that he doesn’t like my game and that’s it,” he said.
“If he likes it, I’m screwed.”