Bernard Tomic hopes ‘struggling’ Nick Kyrgios ‘takes it seriously’ ahead of Kooyong Classic clash
Bernard Tomic will take on Australian rival Nick Kyrgios in his next match at the Kooyong Classic. (AAP: Daniel Pockett)
Bernard Tomic has had a dig at Nick Krygios ahead of their much-hyped first showdown, saying the fellow Australian tennis bad boy needed the match more than he did.
- Bernard Tomic said Nick Kyrgios is ‘mentally struggling’ at the moment
- Tomic said he hopes Kyrgios takes their encounter seriously as he as “stuff to work on”
- Tomic claimed the new balls used at the Australian Open are “cheap”
The pair will meet for the first time when they square off in the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament in Melbourne on Wednesday.
While both have declared there’s no animosity between them, Tomic added some spice ahead of the match saying Kyrgios is “mentally struggling”.
“We’re good friends and it’s good for us to play — he’s needing it more than anything because he’s a little bit mentally struggling right now,” the 26-year-old said after his opening Kooyong win over American Jack Sock.
World number 85 Tomic said he hoped the hard-hitting Kyrgios, ranked 51, would take the match seriously as they fine-tuned their Melbourne Park preparations.
“For practice it’s unbelievable and I’ve got some stuff I’ve got to work on and tomorrow’s my last chance I can do that,” Tomic said.
“Am I doing that against Nick, who only just serves? It’s tough to do, so hopefully he takes it seriously.”
Nick Kyrgios was accused of a ‘borderline’ effort in a match at the Shanghai Masters last year. (AP: Seth Wenig)
Tomic looked in good touch in his win over Sock, who this time last year was ranked world number eight but is now outside the top 100.
He wrapped up the low-key encounter 5-7 6-4 10-6, with the winner decided by the new final-set tie-break format the Australian Open has adopted.
Tomic said he’d only started training a few weeks ago, but felt good in his return to court.
“I think we played pretty well today, we didn’t play that aggressive but I was pretty happy,” the Queenslander said.
“I don’t run a lot anyway but the last thing you want is to run for a ball and then you can’t do anything five or six days later.”
Tomic takes aim at ‘cheap’ balls
World number 85 Bernard Tomic won just one tournament last year, the Chengdu Open in September. (AAP: Daniel Pockett)
Tomic also aimed fire at the new Australian Open tennis balls, saying they are “cheap”.
As part of a five-year deal, Dunlop took over the ball partnership with the Australian Open this year, also providing balls for the lead-up events including the Kooyong Classic exhibition tournament.
Previously Wilson supplied the balls.
After playing his first match using the new balls, Tomic was not shy in his opinion about the standard of the new balls.
“I don’t know what the Australian Open has done, but it is terrible,” Tomic said of the balls.
“I don’t know too much [about the balls], but I don’t feel like it is that good of a ball. I think they’re pretty cheap from what I’ve heard.”