Lamenting what might have been after blowing a huge chance to go deep at Wimbledon, Bernard Tomic has pledged to improve his fitness and crack the world’s top five.
With a quarter-final spot beckoning, Tomic surrendered a 4-2 lead in the fifth set to crash to a disappointing fourth-round loss to little-known Frenchman Lucas Pouille.
Tomic, the 19th seed, rued the missed opportunity after falling 6-4 4-6 3-6 6-4 10-8 to his lower-ranked rival.
“It was a chance for me possibly to maybe make a semi here at Wimbledon,” he said.
“It was to play quarter-finals against (Tomas) Berdych or (Jiri) Vesely.
“I felt whoever won the match against us has a chance to play for a semi-final in a grand slam. It’s a mistake that I made.”
A two-time grand slam junior champion, Tomic’s only last-eight appearance at a major came as a teenage qualifier at the All England Club five years ago.
“I’ve played so many times – in my career – fourth rounds, third rounds in grand slams and only been to the quarters once,” he said.
To take the next step, Tomic knows he must knuckle down and work harder.
“I just have to work, and just fitness, that’s it,” said the world No.19.
“I mean, I can play tennis always and not have to do fitness and be top 20, 30 player for the rest of my life.
“But if I want to be in the top five in the world, I have to work hard and it will come, not just one month.
“(In) six months, one year of work, then I have an opportunity.
“I just have to be consistent throughout the year. It’s very important.
“I have been very consistent the last two years and it’s gotten me to where I am, top 20 the last year.”
Tomic has seemingly been around for years but, still only 23, the Queenslander remains the third-youngest player in the top 20 behind only Australian Davis Cup teammate Nick Kyrgios and Austrian Dominic Thiem.
“To be better, you have to improve every day,” he said.
“These chances you need to take these chances, because there’s a lot of points at grand slams.
“It can potentially mean a quarters or semis spot, that match today.”