With the announcement of the 2014 Australian Open draw last night, arguably the most shocking of the first round match-ups was that between World No. 1 Rafael Nadal and young Australian talent Bernard Tomic. The 21-year-old has long been weighed down by the hefty expectations of his nation, as he had previously been labeled as the future of Australian tennis. Now, the World No. 52 will need to find his best tennis if he is to stand a chance against the top seed.
While Tomic was not interested in discussing the match-up ahead of his upcoming Sydney final against Juan Martin del Potro, he did mention that the contest will be a difficult one and that he will focus his attention towards it after Saturday afternoon.
Meanwhile Del Potro was more candid about his opinion on the match, saying that while Rafa is certainly the favourite and quite possibly the toughest match-up in the draw, Tomic has the skills and talent to possibly upset Nadal in Melbourne.
“He’s very smart,” Del Potro said of Tomic. “For sure it’s going to be a great experience for him playing on center court against the No. 1 in the world. And also he has the chance to beat Nadal. He’s a great player. I think if he has to take one place to have chance to beat Rafa, maybe he will take Melbourne on the Rod Laver Arena. Could be a good chance for him. Also Rafa is really tough player. First round Grand Slam, five sets, it’s not easy to beat him.”
The top seed, Del Potro, will meet the defending champion, Tomic, tomorrow afternoon in the Sydney finals.