Former Australian No. 1 Bernard Tomic has been out to prove that the younger batch of talent has not passed him by, and he achieved just that by arriving in the fourth round of the tournament. The only other Aussie remaining in the men’s draw is Nick Kyrgios, which bodes well for Tomic. However, he will next come up against Tomas Berdych, whom he has never beaten on the professional tour. Berdych’s wins both took place at the Wimbledon Championships in consecutive years, leaving him with a 2-0 record in the head-to-head series.
Up against the resurgent Viktor Troicki, Tomas Berdych needed no more than the necessary straight sets to find his way into the fourth round. The Czech No. 1 hit 55 winners, 20 aces and won 89% of his first service points to defeat the Serb 6-4, 6-3, 6-4 and set up his meeting with the Aussie.
In a battle between two Aussies, Bernard Tomic proved to be the superior competitor against his countryman Sam Groth and found his way into the fourth round of the Australian Open. He won the match 6-4, 7-6(8), 6-3 in 1 hour and 43 minutes. Tomic hit 26 winners, 9 aces and won 83% of his first service points to set up the first professional hard court meeting against Berdych.
It should be noted that the Australian did beat Berdych on hard courts in Kooyong (exhibition) several years ago, but even he is not confident that will be the reason for his success.
“Yeah’s that was like Kooyong,” Tomic shrugged. “I don’t know. That was like Kooyong. I can’t even remember what happened. I do take confidence, but last few times were like a very tough match. I learnt a lot, so it’s an opportunity I have to play Tomas. We played twice before. He’s a very, very good player. He’s been at the top for many years. I have to come to this match to play my tennis, and then I have a chance.”
This is set to be the third time that Berdych and Tomic cross paths on the tour, yet the first time on hard courts professionally. Berydch leads the series 2-0 but both those wins took place on grass at Wimbledon. Both those encounters were close affairs and it is quite possible that the Czech star could be pushed to deep waters against the confident Tomic.
Prediction: Tomas Berdych in Four Sets