Bernard Tomic lost to Rafael Nadal in their only previous meeting. Image courtesy of theaustraliancom.au/AP
You wouldn’t say Bernard Tomic has had a great deal of luck at the Australian Open the past three years, and that continued at the end of last week when he drew Rafael Nadal in the first round. The last three years he has lost to Federer (twice) and Nadal (once) in his home Slam, but that’s what happens when you don’t show consistency throughout the calendar year and fail to grab a seeding for the big events.
Tomic pushed Nadal, at times, when they met in the third round in 2011, but the Spaniard eventually overwhelmed the then teenager 6-2 7-5 6-3 . As obviously talented as he is, the Gold Coaster is still yet to show he can compete on a regular basis with the big guns of men’s tennis. He is yet to beat any of the ‘Big Four’ in 10 attempts, and has only picked up two sets in those match-ups. Tomic has beaten seeds on three occasions at Melbourne Park, but he is yet to nab a really big scalp.
Nadal missed last year’s event as he recovered from knee surgery, so he hasn’t been sighted in Melbourne since his epic six-hour defeat in the 2012 final to Novak Djokovic. It is the only Slam he has failed to win more than once, and prior to reaching the decider last time around, he was knocked out at the quarter-final stage the previous two years. In eight appearances here, he has never dropped a set in the first round.
The Spaniard started his season in Doha where he overcame Gael Monfils in three sets in the final. Tomic won two of his three singles rubbers at the Hopman Cup and then went within one match of defending his Sydney crown before he was unceremoniously dumped in straight sets by Argentine Juan Martin Del Potro 6-3 6-1 in the decider last Saturday.
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