Bernard Tomic is happy to take a leaf out of Roger Federer’s book and fly solo in pursuit of Australian Open glory.
Federer famously racked up a swag of grand slam crowns, including two of his four Open titles, at the height of his incomparable career while travelling the world without a full-time coach.
Now Tomic is following the lead of his childhood idol as his father John focuses on developing his talented daughter Sara’s game.
John Tomic still helps out when he can, but has taken somewhat of a back seat after serving a 12-month ban for assaulting his son’s hitting partner in Madrid in 2013.
“We’re communicating as much as we can, which is a great thing,” Tomic said ahead of his second-round Open clash with Italian Simone Bolelli on Thursday.
“He’s putting the time aside to help my sister, which is good for her.
“But honestly, haven’t had anyone coach me for the last year. My good friend, James, that lives in Miami helped out.
“We had such a good relationship last year. I don’t believe too much in the coaching point of view. I believe if you want to get there, you get there.”
Tomic, who turned to Tony Roche for a period and now takes tips from new Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, has rocketed up the rankings to his career-high position of No.17 in the world after his finest season on tour.
The 23-year-old landed his third ATP title and reached seven ATP quarter-finals in 2016, the most by an Australian since Hewitt a decade earlier.
“All these players have coaches and stuff, and it’s a good thing to have, but I’m different. I prefer to focus on my game, work hard,” Tomic said.
“You have to put hours on the court if you have a coach or not. If you want it yourself, you’ll get it.
“I think last year’s period of having a good year, my best year, I didn’t have a coach.
“I had a friend there and my father was helping me as much as he can. I achieved what I achieved.
“Obviously now I have to work hard on my fitness. It’s the most important key to my tennis.”
Tomic dropped his opening set of the championship before putting away Denis Istomin 6-7 (4-7) 6-4 6-4 6-4 in the first round.
“I went through lapses where I played very well and played very bad,” he said.
“It was not easy. Obviously I wanted to win comfortably, win straight.”
He hopes to step it up against Bolelli.
“I’ve never played him before in my career,” Tomic said.
“I’ll try to suss as much as I can against him.”
A win could set up an all-Queensland showdown with John Millman, who plays Luxembourger Gilles Muller in his second-round match on Thursday.