MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 13:  Gilles Simon of France plays a forehand shot in his match against Bernard Tomic of Australia during day four of the 2017 Priceline Pharmacy Classic at Kooyong on January 13, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Darrian Traynor/Getty Images)

Simon hits a set with Australian Tomic at Kooyong

Posted on January 13, 2017

Forecasted rain on the last day of the 2017 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic forced organisers to change the match between Bernard Tomic and Frenchman Gilles Simon to a one-set contest.

Both players were happy to take any live practice they could ahead of the Australian Open next week and gave the crowd some entertainment ahead of the tournament’s finals.

Simon took the set 6-3 but the Australian, who will enter Melbourne Park on Monday as the 27th seed of the Grand Slam, was happy with how he hit the ball in wet and humid conditions.

“It was pretty enjoyable, I was playing pretty well,” Tomic told reporters after the set.

“It was a shame the rain started the last two games but it’s quality for me and him, and we’re both ready to play on Monday.

“Yeah I only found out a bit before (that it was only one set), but whether it was a set or two we were trying to do the things we need to work on.

“The first three or four games were quality but after the rain started which was disappointing but after that we are all worried about our safety so the important thing for us is to be ready on Monday.”

The 24-year-old will come up against Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci in the first round of the Open, a player he has beaten just once in three previous meetings.

“Yeah pretty well, I was playing very well in Sydney and now obviously played here two good matches,” Tomic said of his form.

“Now I’m ready and a seed in Melbourne, I play Bellucci, obviously it’s not going to be easy.

“It’s going to be fun, hopefully I just play good tennis in the first round, that’s the most important thing.”

Bellucci is currently ranked 62 in the world, but has been as high as 21, and will be a tough match up for Tomic who could run into Croatian seventh-seed Marin Cilic in the third round.

“No, he’s a tough player and former top 25 player,” Tomic added.

“He’s won a few titles in his career and he’s beaten a few top players.

“Players like this in the draw are so tough to play, everyone is respected and I have to play well to win this match.”

“I saw I was seeded 26 or 27, that’s all I saw.

“I saw maybe Cilic in the third round, so there’s so many tough matches, I know that I have to play Bellucci and I lost to him last time so I have to try and get ready for this.”

Simon was similarly content with the hit out and acknowledged how hard it is to play against the versatile Tomic, even when the conditions are ideal.

“It was strange today, it was really hard to focus without watching the court every second,” he said.

“And with Bernie it’s always tough to find a good rhythm, he has a fancy game where he is mixing a lot of shots he is giving you, not twice the same ball and you really have to adjust every time.

“Sometimes you find a good rhythm and you feel like you’re playing better and right then after you have a bad feeling after three different shots and he’s coming back.

“So he’s always hard to play because you never know how to deal with him and that’s one of his biggest strengths.”

The weather is set to be quite the opposite for Simon’s first match of the Australian Open against American teenager Michael Mmoh.

If the 25th seed progresses to the third round of the Grand Slam he is expected to come up against the third seed from Croatia Milos Raonic.

“No (I don’t know too much about him), I just saw him in the US Open last year,” Simon said of Mmoh.

“He’s one of these young players from this American generation that looks great and no I don’t have a lot to say about him, I will then try and focus on what I’m trying to do on my side of the court.”

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