MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 09:  Bernard Tomic of Australia plays a backhand in the 2018 Kooyong Classic at Kooyong on January 9, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Daniel Pockett/Getty Images)

Tomic looks to Aus Open qualifiers after Kooyong hit-out

Posted on January 9, 2018

Bernard Tomic was philosophical after his 6-3 6-3 defeat to Yoshihito Nishioka at the 2018 Priceline Pharmacy Kooyong Classic that was predominately used as match practice before he makes a last-minute bid to qualify for the Australian Open.

In windy conditions the Australian who is ranked 140 in the world used the time on court to prepare for the start of qualifying on Wednesday for the Grand Slam at Melbourne Park he has competed at in the last nine years.

“It was good to get on the court today,” Tomic told reporters after the match.

“It was very windy but kind of better that it was this way, and anything is possible tomorrow, it can get really windy and I obviously need matches.

“I haven’t played that much tennis the last six months, so anything is good for me now… it’s not an issue that I’m playing quallies for me I just need more matches and get back to feeling confident on the court.”

The 25-year-old was not given a wildcard to the Open by Tennis Australia officials but is confident that with limited preparation he can get a spot in the main draw.

“I know the last quallies I was in at a Slam I made the quarters when I was 18 at Wimbledon so I think for me as long as you’re playing well you can always believe in yourself and play well from that,” Tomic added.

“The last few months I’ve been doing the right things and I’ve just got to get that momentum back.

“My timing was pretty good… I’d love to qualify and do well but it’s going to be tough there’s a lot of good players in the qualifiers and you have to respect everyone, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Nishioka moved exceptionally well across the court for a player that has only recently fully recovered from knee surgery after rupturing the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee last season.

The 22-year-old from Japan made the second round of the Australian Open before reaching his highest ranking of 58 on the ATP Tour prior to his knee injury.

“I’m very happy to come back to Kooyong this year again,” Nishioka said.

“Before I came here I couldn’t play tennis for like nine months, so I’m very happy to be back on court and play my next match and then at the Australian Open.

“My knee is feeling good, still a little bit different than before my injury but it’s feeling always a little bit better.

“It’s good for practice (to play against Tomic) before a main draw.”

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