Bernard Tomic has a tough first round match-up. Image courtesy of dailytelegraph.com.au/Michael Klein
After a promising start to 2013 when he won Sydney and made the third round of the Australian Open, it has been all downhill since then for Bernard Tomic , both on and off the court. He was struggling before his father and coach, John Tomic, allegedly assaulted training partner Thomas Drouet during the Madrid Masters. Tomic Snr’s ATP credentials have been revoked for 12 months, which hopefully allows the talented 20-year-old to focus on his tennis.
On Tuesday night he begins his Wimbledon campaign against another player who was tagged, particular in his home country, as the next big thing in tennis. Despite loitering around the top 20 for the last few years, Sam Querrey Tomic has never quite fulfilled his potential. Considering his big game is ideally suited to the fast surface at the All-England Club, surprisingly he has never really made a decent run in south London. His best result was reaching the round of 16 in 2010 before being bundled out in straight sets by crowd favourite Andy Murray. Last year he beat another North American with a booming serve, Milos Raonic, in the second round in four sets before succumbing in his next match to Marin Cilic. The pair slugged it out in a marathon five-setter before Cilic finally took the fifth 17-15.
Tomic made the quarters at Wimbledon in 2011 after coming through qualifying, and pushed Novak Djokovic to four sets. His lead-up form is not bad at all. He beat handy British grasscourter James Ward and experienced Frenchman Julien Benneteau at Eastbourne before going down in two tight sets to Gilles Simon in the final eight. Tomic and Querrey have met just once previously with the Australian taking out a second round match at his home Slam in four sets . Querrey lost to Lleyton Hewitt at Queen’s Club a fortnight back, and the former Wimbledon champion franked that form on Monday night when he knocked out 11th seed Stanislas Wawrinka in straight sets.
Australia’s lone hope in the women’s draw, Samantha Stosur , kicks off her campaign in SW19 against unheralded Slovakian Anna Schmiedlova . Stosur won her first match on grass at Eastbourne in straight sets over Nadia Petrova before going down to Lucie Safarova, a left-hander she has struggled with greatly in the past. Schmiedlova won her first two matches in qualifying, but only got in to the main draw as a lucky loser after going down in her final match against 152nd-ranked Eva Birnerova.
Other Australians in action on day two include Matt Ebden , who takes on rising Japanese star Kei Nishikori , while James Duckworth – who impressed in two matches at the Australian Open – faces off against American Denis Kudla .
Novak Djokovic was given a saloon passage to the final when Roger Federer, Andy Murray, and now first round loser Rafael Nadal ended up in the same half of the draw. The Serbian begins his charge towards a second Wimbledon crown with a match-up against veteran German Florian Mayer , a player he has comfortably beaten on four previous occasions.
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