Jordan Thompson has never hit a single ball with Bernard Tomic, but the Sydney International wildcard has watched his top-seeded countryman enough on TV to know what he’ll be up against in the second round.
Thompson set up a high-profile showdown with Tomic when his first-round opponent Martin Klizan retired with a shoulder injury while trailing 6-2 4-0 at Olympic Park on Monday.
The Sydney-born 21-year-old admitted he’d had “barely anything” to do with Tomic, who this week has been embroiled in yet another off-court controversy.
But at world No.149 – 132 ranking places lower than 17th-ranked Tomic – Thompson knows he faces an unenviable assignment when the pair clash on Wednesday.
When asked about Tomic’s potential on-court weaknesses, Thompson simply said “he’s got everything on me”.
“He’s actually only two years older than me, but in a way he’s a lot of years older than me,” he said.
“He’s experienced, he’s older, he’s beaten much better players than I have.
“He’s at a career-high ranking, I think … his ball control is unbelievable.
“It’ll be a pretty tough match.
“I’ve met him a few times, but I don’t think I’ve ever hit a ball with him – I’ve really only watched him play on telly.”
Tomic, who had a first-round bye, touched down in Sydney on Monday followed by more drama, having reportedly apologised after clashing with staff at a Gold Coast resort over a $20 court hire fee while practising for the Brisbane International.
Thompson, a two-time Australian Open wildcard playoff winner, didn’t think it would impact Tomic’s performance.
“I highly doubt it will affect him,” he said.
“Off court is off court. On court probably just concentrate on the ball that’s coming.
“I don’t know what the controversy is so (I’m) pretty sure he probably wouldn’t care.”
Earlier on Monday, Italy’s Andreas Seppi progressed to the second round with a 6-4 4-6 6-2 defeat of Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin.
But fellow Italian Simone Bolelli wasn’t so fortunate, going down 6-2 7-6 (7-5) to American Alexander Sarkissian.