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Tomic must put the hard yards in, says Rafter

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Originally published on: 20/09/11 10:48

Australia’s Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter believes that Bernard Tomic must put in the hard yards and up his intensity in training if he is to realise his potential in the game.

The 18-year-old reportedly riled the Australian team with a listless showing in training ahead of his side’s defeat to Switzerland last weekend – with his intensity in stark contrast to that of team leader and renowned fighter Lleyton Hewitt.

The youngster’s languid and sometimes passive approach somewhat belies his results on court and the Queenslander, who reached the quarter-finals at Wimbledon this year, was the only man to win a singles rubber for Australia last weekend, defeating Stanislas Wawrinka in four sets and taking a set off 16-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer.

But while Rafter recognises Tomic is a rare talent, the two-time Grand Slam champion wants to see a greater level of commitment from the youngster.

“He’s got to try to have consistent results every time he walks on the court and putting everything out there,” said Rafter.

“That’s been one of the weak parts of his game – not applying himself day-in and day-out. So it’s up to him. When he wants to put in that hard work, he’ll have very good results.

“He’s a very interesting player and he’s got a lot of great things and great strengths about his game.”

Currently ranked at No.59, Tomic won seven matches on the bounce to come through qualifying and reach the quarter-finals at this year’s Wimbledon, but the Aussie teenager has managed little of note since, losing in the first round in Cincinnati and Winston-Salem and going no further than round two in Montreal and at the US Open.

Rafter believes the youngster is capable of much more, if he gives it everything he’s got.

“He has to commit to it and he can’t expect to be a good player and not commit,” he added. “When he’s ready to do that, he’ll become a very good player.

“On court, he needs to be a bit more disciplined.”

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