Sara Tomic into Aust Open girls last eight

Sara Tomic idolises her older brother Bernard but has outdone his efforts at the 2016 Australian Open.

Tomic, 17, reached the last eight of the girls’ championship on Wednesday at Melbourne Park with a gutsy win over Karman Thandi.

Tomic trailed her Indian opponent 5-4 in both the second and third sets, breaking serve each time to guts out a 3-6 7-5 7-5 win in 114 minutes.

She said she was channelling another male inspiration to get her over the line.

“I was just thinking ‘please return well – pretend that you’re Novak Djokovic’,” she said.

“That got me through it.”

The win ensures a career-best performance for Tomic at the junior grand slams, outdoing her effort last year from Melbourne Park.

Tomic said she was allowing herself to dream of following in Bernard’s footsteps, who won the 2008 Australian Open boys’ crown.

“It would actually mean the world,” she said.

“I’d probably start crying.

“Not just to win because of Bernard but for me – it’s a big opportunity.”

The win by Sara means all three Tomics in the public eye are enjoying a fantastic fortnight at the Open.

Bernard was the longest-lasting man in the main draw, impressing before a fourth-round defeat by second seed Andy Murray.

And even John, the pair’s father and coach, was treated to a rendition of happy birthday by the fanatics earlier in the tournament.

Sara was subjected to drunken taunts as a 15-year-old in the same event after Bernard withdrew.

She said it was nice to feel the embrace of the Australian sporting public.

“The haters, the people that dislike us, that’s their opinion,” she said.

“I think we’ve always had the love there.

“I’m just glad and I think Bernard’s glad that we have support through our whole life.”

Tomic has been spared a meeting with the No.1 seed in the semi-finals with top-ranked Canadian Bianca Andreescu withdrawing with a foot injury.

Instead, it’s Chinese-born wildcarded-Australian Baijing Lin who Tomic will face for a place in the last four.

In the boys’ draw, all three remaining locals progressed to the last eight.

Sixth-seed Alex De Minaur defeated Egyptian Youssef Hossam 7-5 6-3 and will play Stefanos Tsitsipas of Greece.

Wildcarded pair Oliver Anderson and Max Purcell will play in another all-Australian quarter-final.

Anderson overcame top-seeded Hungarian Mate Valkusz 6-4 6-3 and Purcell defeated Spaniard Eduard Guell Bartrina.

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