Murray backs Tomic to reach top 10


Bernard Tomic is a certainty to crack the ATP's top 10, according to Andy Murray, who leapt to the defence of the maligned Australian.

Tomic has openly voiced his determination to break into the top-10 rankings this year, something Roger Federer doubts the world number 17 can achieve.

The 23-year-old hit back at Federer over the weekend, saying the Swiss great is "nowhere near" world number one Novak Djokovic's level.

But four-time Australian Open runner-up and second seed Murray, who feels Tomic is unfairly treated, believes he has what it takes to takes his game to the next level.

"Obviously if he can start getting a few more wins against the top players, that would help," Murray said after beating Tomic 6-4 6-4 7-6 (7-4) in the fourth round at Melbourne Park on Monday.

"But it seems like he gets a bit of a hard time. I think he's the youngest player in the top 20. Most years he makes improvements. He's the number one player in Australia.

"On the court his personality is very different to someone like a [Nick] Kyrgios. But I think he deals with pressure well. I think he plays good tennis at the Aussie Open. He's performed extremely well in Davis Cup. I think he's only lost two or three Davis Cup matches.

"If he can be consistent throughout the year, it's normal I think for young players to have ups and downs. But I think he seems to be playing more consistent tennis. He'll definitely keep moving up the rankings.

"But once you get to 15 or 10, around that ranking, the steps become even harder. Even though it's just a few spots it's hard, because the players above are extremely good. It takes time now.

"He'll get better. He'll be a top-10 player, for sure."

As for the player himself, Tomic stood by his comments directed at Federer, whom he feels is at fault.

Tomic added: "I know Roger said what he said. Maybe took it the wrong way. I explained it the wrong way.

"I think he did mention and say we all know that Bernard is not far from the top 10. He keeps saying it.

"I just would have liked Roger to say, okay, look, he had an amazing 2015. Went from 70, 80 to being 16. He didn't mention it. I just felt like maybe Roger said the wrong thing."