“He’s experienced; he’s older; he’s beaten much better players than I have. Just give it my best”: Jordan Thompson. Photo: Brett HemmingsOnly two years separate ns Jordan Thompson and Bernard Tomic, but the pair will get the first look at each other when they square off at the Sydney International on Wednesday.
Thompson, who was cruising to victory when Slovakian Martin Klizan retired hurt at 6-2, 4-0 at the Sydney International on Monday, has only met Tomic a handful of times despite coming through the ranks at Tennis at a similar time.
Given Tomic’s rapid development at a young age, Thompson has not even practiced with his compatriot, admitting all he knows of the 23-year-old Queenslander is what he’s seen on television.
“Barely anything,” Thompson said when asked of his previous dealings with Tomic.
“Met him a few times. I don’t think I’ve ever hit a ball with him. Really only watched him play on telly. I guess his ranking takes him to better tournaments and I’m still trying to climb up the rankings.
“I guess I’m playing challengers most of the time and he’s playing these tournaments, ATPs, grand slams, so I don’t really come across him too much.”
Tomic comes into the tournament as the No.1 seed, enjoying a bye in the opening round to set up the all-Aussie clash against Thompson on Wednesday.
The leading Aussie, who will head to Melbourne as the No.16 seed at the n Open, is in good touch after reaching the semi final of the Brisbane International last week.
“I’ve watched him play over the years,” Thompson said.
“He’s actually only two years older than me, but in a way he’s a lot of years older than me. He’s been on the tour for a long time and been a good player for a long time. I don’t know if I’ve watched him closely, but I’ve been watching his matches.
“Honestly I have no idea [what his weaknesses are]. I guess he’s got everything on me. He’s experienced; he’s older; he’s beaten much better players than I have. Just give it my best.”
Tomic’s Open preparations was thrown into a spin on Monday when revelations of a run-in with staff at a tennis club on the Gold Coast surface.
While Thompson was unaware of the incident, he doesn’t believe it will have any impact on Tomic’s performance.
“I highly doubt it will affect him,” Thompson said.
“Off court is off court. On court probably just concentrate on the ball that’s coming. Yeah, I don’t think … I don’t know what the controversy is so pretty sure he probably wouldn’t care.”
Thompson has been lost in the shadows of the likes of Tomic, Nick Kyrgios and Thanasi Kokkinakis.
However he insists he hasn’t been fussed by the lack of attention, admitting the success of his peers is inspiring him to join them in the spotlight in the future.
“It’s great for them,” Thompson said.
“I love hearing stories about them doing so well. Sort of brings the morale up. Every Aussie tennis player who hears about them wants to be as good as them. Yeah. Trying to earn my way out there. Everyone wants success. Watching those guys too as well is motivating.”