Tomic blasts through to quarter-finals
Originally published on: 27/06/11 13:59
Bernard Tomic scored an emphatic 6-1 7-5 6-4 victory over Xavier Malisse to secure a place in his maiden Grand Slam quarter-final on the second Monday at Wimbledon.
The 18-year-old had never been beyond the first round at a major tournament outside his home slam, but produced a mature performance that defied his years as he fired his way past Xavier Malisse to take a place in the last eight.
The Stuttgart-born teen, who lives and plays for Australia, dismantled Malisse with 10 aces and 37 winners, celebrating his victory with a pump of the fists before shaking hands with each of the vociferous Aussie fans who had cheered him to victory from the front row on court 18.
“It’s an unbelieveable experience – a dream come true to be able to play here in the quarters,” said the Gold Coast resident, who entered the tournament ranked No.158 but is projected to rise in to the top 70 after the grass swing. “I didn’t expect a lot from this tournament,” admitted Tomic, who only scraped through his first round of qualifying.
In the past the Australian had always considered hard courts to be his best surface, having made the third round of the Australian Open this year on Melbourne’s blue Plexicushion court, but Tomic admitted this tournament may have changed that. “I have a love for the grass,” he said. “Maybe this, here on grass, is my favourite surface.”
Tomic next faces a likely quarter-final with Novak Djokovic – should the Serb bypass Frenchman Michael Llodra – and though the teen has shown little respect to higher ranked opponents so far – with victories over Nikolay Davydenko, Igor Andreev, Robin Soderling and Xavier Malisse – he’s full of praise for his next opponent.
“He’s one of the nicest guys on tour and such an influence,” he said of the reigning Australian Open champ. “A lot of people love him.”