Tomic eyes Federer scalp
Bernard Tomic knows he will have to hit the ground running when he takes on boyhood idol Roger Federer at the Australian Open on Sunday.
The Australian No. 1 has caused a storm at his home event, coming from two sets down to beat Fernando Verdasco before seeing off Sam Querrey and No. 13 seed Alexandr Dolgopolov to reach the fourth round for the first time.
Next up for the 19-year-old is third seed Federer, who has not failed to reach the quarter-finals in his last 30 grand slam appearances - an impressive streak stretching back to the 2004 French Open. But Tomic, who took a set off the 16-time grand slam champion when they met in the Davis Cup in September, believes he is capable of pulling off an upset, but admits it will be near impossible if he starts slowly.
"Now having played him before, I think I have an intense sense of what he can do and where he can hurt me, where he can't," Tomic said. "I've got to go out there feeling good and have a go and try to win.
"It's a tough thing beat Roger, and to even think about beating him. I'm happy to know I got a set off him last time, and that's confidence there. I think for me to play him, I think in the first set if I get up and maybe win the first set, it's a very, very important key to this match.
"I've got to go out there and have fun. Playing Roger is an experience that I'll always remember. You know, hopefully I can play well and relax and have fun. I just have to go out there and focus, and I think I can have a good tennis match and who knows?"
Tomic, who joked that he will be hoping that Federer is sick on Sunday, admits Federer is one of the few players he will take time to watch.
"I looked up to him a lot. He was like my idol," Tomic said. "I've watched his matches since he won that first Wimbledon. With so many of the grand slams, I always tuned in to watch the finals when he plays Rafa [Nadal] or Novak [Djokovic]. To me, I don't enjoy watching tennis, but when Roger plays on TV, it's a pleasure to watch.
"For us players, we're always in the locker room, looking at tennis. You're always looking at tennis, so it becomes a little bit boring. For a player like (Federer), when he plays, I'm going to sit and watch the whole match if I can."