Tomic up for the cup but out of San Jose
Originally published on: 03/02/12 10:17
Bernard Tomic will feature in next weekend’s Davis Cup tie for Australia, but has pulled out of the SAP Open the following week in San Jose for personal reasons.
The 19-year-old Australian is alleged to have committed a number of traffic violations related to the use of his orange high-performance BMW M3 sports car and has a court date set for February 14. With that in mind, Tomic is reported to have used one of his personal exemptions for ATP 250 tournaments, and therefore will not be fined for the withdrawal.
Australian Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter had voiced concerns about Tomic’s maturity last year, but the Gold Coast teenager has worked hard to improve himself in that department in the last few months, certainly on court, believes the former world No.1
“I was very critical of him last year,” said Rafter. “He wasn’t in the right head space. I think the improvements he’s made now, he’s gone in the right direction, and he really impressed me over this summer. He’s going to be a very, very good player.”
Rafter was particularly impressed by the manner in which Tomic, who has been criticised for his lackadaisical attitude in the past, beat Fernando Verdasco in five sets during his career-best fourth round run at the Australian Open in January.
“In the past I would have expected Bernard to let it go a little bit, but he hung in there,” remembers Rafter. “I thought he moved really well against Verdasco. His fitness has improved. His whole mental well-being is going in the right direction.”
Rafter has picked Tomic to feature for Australia alongside Lleyton Hewitt, Matthew Ebden and Chris Guccione, for next weekend’s tie with China P.R on the grass of the Geelong Lawn Tennis Club, and he believes the youngster has matured since their last Davis Cup tie with Switzerland in Sydney.
“We had a little issue over there in Sydney,” admits Rafter. “He probably wasn’t at that maturity level back then with what I had to tell him. He’s certainly done something over the November, December time.
“He was just sort of struggling with life, I think, then,” the two-time US Open champion continued. “I probably caught him at a weak moment and I was pretty tough on him.”