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"I wanted more than anything to win": Tomic slams Rasheed after gutsy defeat

Tennis

Bernard Tomic says he wants “more than anything to win” and believes Roger Rasheed’s scathing comments about his round-one French Open victory showed “how much education he has”.

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Rasheed this week urged Tomic to show more passion or quit the sport, saying the 23-year-old’s languid style bored him and that he hadn’t been impressed by the straight-sets win over American veteran Brian Baker.

“To be honest, I would beat Brian Baker. He has had that many injuries, he’s ranked 600-and-something in the world,” Rasheed said.

“He couldn’t hit two balls on the court.”

The comments reignited a dispute between Rasheed and the Tomic family dating back to 2009, when Bernard’s father John said “Roger Rasheed is not a coach. He’s a fitness conditioner”.

“He took Lleyton Hewitt from No.2 in the world to No.60 and I think that Gael Monfils should be very careful because he could find himself struggling too pretty soon.”

Bernard Tomic said this week’s unprompted spray highlighted “why I never got along with Roger” and showed up a lack of knowledge in the former mentor of Lleyton Hewitt as well as unfulfilled talents Gael Monfils and Grigor Dimitrov.

“That just shows you how much he knows,” Tomic said after his four-set defeat to Croatian teenager Borna Coric.

“You don’t say that about someone – the guy (Baker) has been to (the second) round (at the French Open), fourth round at Wimbledon, finals of Nice.

“You can’t say that about that sort of player.

“He’s beaten Gael on clay and a lot of good players.

“For (Rasheed) to say that comment, just shows you how much education he has.”

Tomic fought through illness and dizziness in his two-hour-and-47-minute defeat to Coric overnight, and said he hoped the performance helped remove any doubts about his passion for the game.

“I was fighting. I wanted more than anything to win – it is one of the toughest grand slams to play in, condition-wise,” Tomic said.

“If you don’t have the passion to be out on these courts here there’s no bother playing it.

“Today I was fighting as much as I can and I know I’m not that good on clay.

“I didn’t grow up on this surface. I don’t even know how to walk and slide, it’s very confusing for me. I tried my best.”

Tomic required medical assistance early in the third set, down 2-1, and complained of feeling “dizzy and unwell” to the match umpire.

But he rallied to force two tiebreakers, though he lost both – the second via a blown set point in the fourth which would’ve sent the match to a decider.

“I had a chance and I felt like it was all on my racquet to make it a fifth set and who knows, but it was pretty satisfying with the way I’m playing,” Tomic said.

His gutsy second-round defeat at the French Open, which leaves Australia with just two representatives in the third round.

Watched on by a strong Australian contingent, including Davis Cup coach Lleyton Hewitt and 17th seed Nick Kyrgios, Tomic lost 3-6 6-2 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (8-6) to Croatian teenager Borna Coric in arguably his best ever performance on clay.

“I was amazed, I was keeping a high level the whole match. It was a tough match and I was playing well,” the 20th seed said after the loss.

“It was a quality match. it’s just a shame that I lost because it was very good quality from both ends.”

Tomic’s exit leaves just Kyrgios, who faces French ninth seed Richard Gasquet, and Samantha Stosur, who has a mighty challenge against last year’s runner-up Lucie Safarova, with third round matches – both which will be played on Friday.

-AAP

 

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