20-year-old sensation Bernard Tomic played out of his mind Wednesday night in an upset of world No.1 Novak Djokovic at the Hopman Cup in Perth, unfortunately the Aussies couldn’t complete the upset as Serbia rolled out a 2-1 win.
Australia needed an epic performance out of Tomic and the youngster delivered 6-4 6-4 in front of a sold out Perth Arena to put the host nation up 1-0, but 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty was no match for former world No.1 Ana Ivanovic in the ladies’ singles before both fell to the Djokovic-Ivanovic combination in a thrilling decider 6-4 6-7(8) [10-8].
Tomic appears determined to put his controversial 2012 behind him and return to becoming the tennis world's next big thing. There are noticeable improvements to his game: his forehand is far more effective and he has added some variation to his serve.
“I played a very, very good match and I’m just happy after training hard the last few months that this is all coming good,” Tomic said post-match.
“Hard work does pay off and I’m still improving and I’ve got a lot more to improve and I felt that today was a good sign.
“This is especially something I needed before the Australian Open. I'm playing the best tennis I've played the last few years, so I'm really happy with myself.”
Djokovic complimented Tomic’s performance but noted that he still wants to see how the youngster plays outside of Australia and on different surfaces.
The game wasn’t without controversy; match officials opted to replace the balls after the opening game because they were deemed to be too soft. Djokovic also wasn’t at his best and collected an unusually, at least for him, high number of unforced errors.
The win moves Serbia up to top place in Group A with just one more group match to play. Australia faces Italy Thursday night while finalist favourite Serbia will take on Germany Friday before going against the US in a likely finals matchup.
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Follow Robert White on Twitter @RobertWhitebrrr.