Wednesday August 8, 2012
Tomic to face Djokovic in second round
TORONTO: Bernard Tomic may be the youngest player at the Toronto Masters but after ending a six-match losing streak on Monday the 19-year-old Australian is oozing confidence for his second-round tilt with top-seed Novak Djokovic.
Tomic, who opened his hard court season with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Germany’s Michael Berber, has never beaten Djokovic but looks forward to playing the tournament’s defending champion on Wednesday after recording his first win since May.
“It’s a really good feeling. ... Seven weeks in a row I’ve been losing, and I think the opportunity here to play and play well is good, and confidence that I need,” Tomic said.
“I am just happy that I won my match finally, and I’ve got confidence leading into the next important match.”
With world number one Roger Federer skipping the tournament to rest, Rafael Nadal opting out because of injury and several top players still arriving from the London Olympics, the Toronto Masters offers a chance for an unseeded player to make a move.
But while Tomic is aware of the opportunity that presents itself with top players either absent or fatigued, he refuses to look any further than his match against Djokovic.
In their two previous meetings, Tomic lost to Djokovic at last year’s Wimbledon and at the Rome Masters in May.
“It’s a good chance for me playing him for the first time on hard court where I think I move the best out of all surfaces,” Tomic told reporters. “My game suits more grass, but I think I move and play better in a way on hard court.”
Frenchman Jeremy Chardy will clash with third-seeded compatriot Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the second round after putting out American Donald Young 3-6, 7-6 (7-4), 6-0 on Monday.
The first match of the post-Olympic tournament marked the 16th consecutive defeat for Young, who has not claimed a victory on the ATP since last February.
Chardy needed nearly two and a quarter hours to get past the number 84 Young, who was somehow given a place on the US Olympic team only to lose his opening match against Italian Andreas Seppi.
The French winner, ranked 47th, earned his 16th win of the season. He lost his only previous meeting with Tsonga in Johannesburg in 2009.
“It will be tough to play against Jo, he’s been doing so well recently,” said the challenger. “He’s a good friend of mine. “I can only go out and try to play my game.”
Chardy notched seven aces but also six double-faults in his win over the luckless Young, who was once tipped by John McEnroe as the future of the US game. Chardy broke six times on the way into the second round.
Due to the weekend Olympic finish in London, all 16 seeds in the field have been given first-round byes. The final is also scheduled for Sunday evening so as not to clash with the Games closing ceremonies.
Olympic gold medallist Andy Murray has given notice that while he will arrive in Canada yesterday, any decision to actually take to the court a day later will depend on how he feels.
“With Toronto, the plan is to go there and play,” the Scot said amid his Olympic celebrations. — Agencies