Former world No. 17 Bernard Tomic revealed the praise he received from World No. 1 Novak Djokovic, saying that he still uses it as inspiration.
Tomic is considered to be one of the most talented players in the world today. He is tipped to be a multiple-time Grand Slam winner and a record-breaker in the future.
He has done battle with the best, with one of his most memorable matches being a closely-contested duel with Djokovic at the 2019 Miami Masters. The Serbian won 7-6 (2) 6-2 in the Miami second round, but he was thoroughly impressed by his opponent and proceeded to let him know.
Tomic revealed the praise he received from Djokovic after the match, and said that he still remembers every word of it.
“I still remember the one thing he said to me,” the Australian told The Sydney Morning Herald, as quoted by Tennis World USA.
“He said to me, ‘Bernard, if I had half your talent, where would I be?’”
Hopes and dreams
“Expectations of me as a player were always too high,” he continued.
“Being No.1, winning 10-20 grand slams, there was a lot of pressure put on me from my father. It’s not easy.
“People don’t see this constant world of pressure, pressure, pressure. At times, I didn’t want to play tennis. It was not something I enjoyed 100 per cent doing.
“But I was beating everyone and with winning comes a lot of good feelings with emotions as a young kid. And it grew on me.
“I’m still scared of my dad. I wouldn’t want to be raising my kid the way I was raised. He’s whacked balls at me, racquets and stuff. I mean, the guy is a crazy man, for sure.
“But he made me who I am today. It was discipline at 100 per cent. When you look at it now, in a way I wouldn’t raise anyone like that,” he concluded.
Read more: Tomic reveals primary reason for going vegan – “I got inspired by Djokovic”