Roger Federer to Bernard Tomic: You aren’t top-10; Tomic replies: You aren’t Novak Djokovic either

Bernard Tomic was reacting to Roger Federer's comments at this month's Brisbane International.

By: AFP | Melbourne | Updated: January 25, 2016 5:04 pm
Roger Federer, Roger Federer Tennis, Tennis Roger Federer, Federer Tennis, Tennis Federer, Tomic Federer, Federer Tomic, Aus Open 2016, 2016 Aus Open, Tennis News, Tennis Roger Federer criticised Bernard Tomic during the Brisbane International. (Source: Reuters)

Outspoken Bernard Tomic has taunted Roger Federer over his struggles against Novak Djokovic after the Swiss great candidly told the young Aussie he had to knuckle down if he wanted to reach the top 10.

Tomic, who has made more noise off the court than on it in his career so far, said the 17-time Grand Slam winner was “nowhere near” the world number one and insisted his own game was top-eight material.

“I think he’s also far away from Djokovic as well, if he wants to say that,” Tomic told reporters, after beating fellow Aussie John Millman to set up an Australian Open last-16 clash with Andy Murray.

“If he believes I’m very far away from the top 10, I also believe my prediction that he’s nowhere near Novak’s tennis right now.”

Tomic was reacting to Federer’s comments at this month’s Brisbane International when he said the 23-year-old needed to work hard all year if he wants to be a top-10 player.

READ: Sania Mirza-Martina Hingis ease into quarters

Djokovic beat Federer, 34, in two Grand Slam finals in 2015, a season which was dominated by the Serbian world number one who only just missed out on a calendar-year Grand Slam.

“The year is not just one month long or one week long. It’s 52 weeks. It’s every day. That (is what) he’s been struggling to show, to be quite honest,” Federer, the world number three, told reporters.

“Many seasons now in a row we have seen or heard that top 10 is the goal, and he’s missed out on it by a long shot.”

Tomic, Australia’s top-ranked player and currently at a career high of 17, said that Federer’s criticism would serve as motivation to push up the rankings.

“I’m working for that. When I’m playing well, I’m a top-eight player in the world. My ranking has to get there,” he said. “I’m going to work every day this year getting to the top 10. It’s not just getting to the top 10. I’m going to get there. It’s about staying there for a while. It’s about being consistent.

READ: Milos Raonic stuns former champion Stan Wawrinka in Melbourne; Andy Murray enters quarters

“These guys that have been there the last five, six years on the tour, you have (Tomas) Berdych, (David) Ferrer, (Kei) Nishikori who have been there for a while, they’re consistent. “That’s what I want to become.”

Tomic also said he didn’t expect Murray, the world number two, to be distracted by Saturday’s medical drama when his father-in-law Nigel Sears, Ana Ivanovic’s coach, collapsed and was taken to hospital.

“I’m sure it will have no effect for him when he plays on Monday,” said Tomic, who is into the Australian Open fourth round for the third time.

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  1. D
    Damian
    Jan 25, 2016 at 2:57 pm
    What Federer said was really unfair to Tomic as a developing player. Tomic is ranked 17th in the world, down from a rank in the 90's last year, and placed no lower than equal 9th place in this year's Australian open. For a player as respected as Roger Federer to say that he doesn't think Tomic can break into the top 10 must be very discouraging to hear.
    Reply
    1. C
      Costa K
      Jan 25, 2016 at 12:13 pm
      Notice that Fed said something about Tomic - about what he needs to do to move into the top ten. Fed did not compare Tomic to anybody else. So rather than Tomic hearing what was said he misses the point entirely and compares Fed to Djokovic. If he continues to do so he won't make the top ten. He'll be remembered as someone with "promise" whilst Federer will be known as a "great". Actually we know that already.
      Reply
      1. J
        J
        Jan 25, 2016 at 4:46 pm
        As Federer has mentioned, the season is not a month at a time but a w year long, and for you to be top 10 you have to maintain consistency, which includes buckling down and beating top players. Don't get me wrong, Tomic has pla some amazing tennis to get to where he is at now, but he even echoed what Federer was saying about how he wants to be more consistent to be in the top 10. So I don't see what all the fuss is about. He should be more motivated and not a critic for the media.
        Reply
        1. H
          Hari Babu
          Jan 25, 2016 at 9:56 am
          Tomic is a just kid in tennis in front of the greatest tennis player ever RF. First of all this guy/these aussie guys need much more maturity while taking with RF.
          Reply
          1. A
            Alex
            Mar 28, 2016 at 12:35 pm
            Federer was always a gentlemen in sports? Yeah, right...lt;br/gt;I remember, a few years back, when Djokovic was starting his run for Top 10 on ATP, it was Federer who always spoke with disrespect and cynicism about young Djokovic and his playing skills. Federer is a great winner but such a soar looser.
            Reply
            1. R
              rajan luthra
              Jan 25, 2016 at 9:36 am
              At his age, RF was already a winner of a few Majors. Don't see any reason in his rash reply to the advice by this all time great. Even though he is no.17, unable to place him unless shown a photo. Have not come across a gentler player than RF in my approx. 40 years of following the game on TV. No doubt, Novak looks invincible now but RF hasn't won 17 majors for nothing. The trio of ND, RF and RN is a rare group of active legends who have always exhibited mutual respect; a rarity amongst rivals in the past. Age is the inhibiting factor for RF now and not his skills.
              Reply
              1. R
                rajan luthra
                Jan 25, 2016 at 9:38 am
                Tomic needs to walk the talk rather than shooting from the mouth.
                Reply
                1. S
                  Sanchayan Sarkar
                  Jan 26, 2016 at 7:06 am
                  Federer is in the semis now and tomic is out . Sure Federer is not Novak but Novak is 6 years younger than Federer .
                  Reply
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