Tomic knows he can win a grand slam


Inspired by former world number one and iconic countryman Lleyton Hewitt, Australian Bernard Tomic is dreaming big as he sets his sights on winning a grand slam.

A former junior champion, Tomic - the youngest ever Australian Open boys' champion at the age of 15 - was earmarked as the next big thing in Aussie tennis but the maligned figure, up until this point, has been unable to live up to the hype.

Tomic announced himself on the big stage at the age of 18 with a quarter-final run at Wimbledon in 2011, but that remains the three-time ATP Tour winner's best performance at a grand slam.

However, the 23-year-old and world number 21 - who defeated Joao Sousa at the Western & Southern Open on Tuesday - is confident he has what it takes to hoist a grand slam trophy aloft.

"I'd love to win a grand slam or two. I know I have it in me and I know I have to focus these next few years," Tomic told the ATP World Tour's official website. "I had a big chance this year at Wimbledon to maybe make another quarter-final to play [Tomas] Berdych.

"I've played many, many times the third and fourth rounds of grand slams and been very consistent up to that stage. But to play in the semi-final of grand slams and push for a final is something that I need to break and I need to achieve.

"I have to stay healthy and I have to get that block of being a top 15 seed in the tournament.

"But until then you really have to work on the other tournaments -- win those, make a lot of points -- because we know this tour is not just one or two weeks. We have to perform throughout the whole year if you want to have any success or chance at doing well in the majors."

"Having success at a young age [18] is a great thing. It's a hype, a big feeling, but sometimes it can put you down," Tomic continued. "I think I got a little bit lazy and stayed around the 30-50 mark in the rankings for that year when I was 19, 20.

"I managed to reach a career-high of 27 at the age of 19, but I felt like I was not giving my best and not performing at my 100 per cent level. That's something that I realised only the past few years or so

With Hewitt in his corner, Tomic added: "I've learned a lot and the biggest thing is how he got to world number one and how hard he worked. The commitments and the sacrifices he had to make, that's something that I need to do.

"At this level of tennis now, it's so tough out there and there are so many good guys in the top 10, you need to really compete and work hard. All the time he's encouraging me to do more and more and to make sure I've done the work.

"He's just so positive, Lleyton himself. I feel like at the end of the year I can do a good pre-season with him and have a good training block before the Australian summer."