The tennis world is talking about him. He is one of the most exciting prospects in world tennis and he is coming to Kuala Lumpur. 18 year old Australian Bernard Tomic (pic) has told Tournament Director Nick Freyer that he will be playing the Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur at Putra Stadium, Bukit Jalil, 24 September to 2 October, 2011.
Nicknamed “A-Tomic”, he thrilled the record crowds at Wimbledon by reaching the quarterfinals where it took the might of the eventual champion Novak Djokovic to stop him and even then the four set match was one of most hard fought encounters Djokovic played during the fortnight.
Tomic’s run at the All England Club was one of THE stories of the Championships and he soon became tennis’s hot property. The teenager went through the arduous qualifying rounds, accounted for No. 29 seed and 2009 Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur winner Nikolay Davydenko in the first round, after that he rallied from two sets to love down to beat Igor Andreev, the No5 seed Robin Soderling followed in straight sets and then again in straight sets, he stopped Xavier Malisse.
“I am thrilled to have Bernard playing the Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur once again and to be able to welcome him back as well as and his father and coach John. I know the tournament is touched that he enjoyed the Malaysian hospitality enough to make an early decision to come back and play here,” Nick Freyer said.
“Malaysian tennis fans had a brief opportunity to see him last year in Kuala Lumpur when he accepted a Wild Card but when he arrives for this year’s tournament we will see a different Bernard Tomic. I had the opportunity to watch a couple of his early matches at Wimbledon and he was fantastic. He is a more confident guy. He is hitting the ball beautifully and he is playing with such maturity.
“Bernard has always had the talent and he has shown many glimpses of his promise but now he is genuinely showing the tennis world why he is considered the next big thing in world tennis. To have a youngster deliver so handsomely on his potential and do it with maturity that belies his age is very exciting. He promises to be a sensational addition to the player field for this year’s Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur.”
Tomic, who won the 2009 US Open juniors and in 2008 at 15 was the youngest player ever to win the Australian Open juniors, says grass is his favourite surface and his run at Wimbledon has made him excited about what is coming up for him.
“When you (have results) like this, it tells you you’re only a few matches away from winning a title and I know what my goals are now,” Tomic said. “I definitely think I have the game. I definitely think I belong with these guys.
“This has just shown me what I’m capable of doing in the future. I am looking forward to coming to Kuala Lumpur again and continuing the type of tennis I played at Wimbledon. I enjoyed being in the city last year and hopefully the week there will be a great one.”
Goran Ivanisevic the 2001 Wimbledon champion and former World No. 2 has made it clear that it is only a matter of time before Tomic reaches the Top 10. Ivanisevic said: “From there it is up to him as to how far he goes.”
To prove that his rise up the rankings is firmly on the move, Tomic started Wimbledon ranked 158 and when he finished he was 72. He is now the highest ranked Australian on the tour, replacing Lleyton Hewitt who had held that spot since May, 2004.
Legends of the game, such as John Newcombe, say Tomic’s style of play is a throwback to a past era. He serves and volleys but he mixes up his returns. He doesn’t go for overwhelming returns on every shot he plays. Tomic will soft ball, move an opponent around and then come up with an explosive return. He also has the ability to comfortably change his game plan to suit the circumstance.
Tickets for the Malaysian Open Kuala Lumpur have been selling at an outstanding rate; in fact ticket sales have been moving at their fastest pace in the tournament’s three year history.
“The tournament team has been touched by the response from tennis fans as they have snapped up event tickets faster than at any time in the history of the tournament,” Freyer said. “It seems that the public know a great deal when they see one and the sporting public in KL and Malaysia have begun to appreciate and recognise the high quality of tennis, entertainment and fun the tournament has delivered to them.”