Bernard Tomic in the world’s top 10? Roger Federer will believe it when he sees it.
“He’s been good, but then top 10 is another story,” Federer said, offering the Australian a reality check after his strong showing at the Brisbane International.
“The year is not just one month long or one week long. It’s 52 weeks. It’s every day.
“That (is what) he’s been struggling to show, to be quite honest.
“Many seasons now in a row we have seen or heard that top 10 is the goal, and he’s missed out on it by a long shot.
“I think before speaking so highly, maybe it’s good to take it to the next level, whatever that is. We shall see.”
Federer’s words are a timely reminder for Tomic, the highest-ranked Australian in the world, that nothing is done until it’s done.
Tomic fell at the semi-finals of the Brisbane event on Saturday, losing 7-6 (7-5) 7-6 (7-5) to Milos Raonic, who will meet Federer in a rematch of last year’s decider on Sunday night at Pat Rafter Arena.
Tomic will take huge positives away from the tournament, having notched his seventh career win over a top 10 player by beating Japanese star Kei Nishikori – an excellent “measuring stick” for assessing one’s game, according to Federer.
“We all know how well Bernie can play. I hope he can do well at the Australian Open as well,” he said.
Raonic, a close friend of Tomic’s, can sense a change in the 23-year-old, who went from No.56 to a career-high world No.18 ranking last year.
“Before, when you would see him play you would be, okay, he has a hot streak for a period of time and you see how it’s going to carry him through a 12-month season,” Raonic said.
“Whereas now you can tell he’s been doing this for a while. It’s not just sort of instinct taking over.
“He’s made a habit of playing at this level.
“People have a certain perception of who he is and how he can be, which I find in a lot of situations can be very falsifying.
“Deep down he’s a good guy.”
Fortunately, it seems Tomic is talking the right sort of talk.
“This is a tough, tough level,” Tomic said.
“You have to get to that and work hard. It’s not going to come today, tomorrow. It takes years.
“If you keep doing the right thing every day, I’ve learned, you have a big chance of getting closer to achieving your goal.”