Tennis Prose



Tomic Overcomes Verdasco In Five Sets In Melbourne

46 67 64 62 75 win for the 19-year-old Australian who came within a couple of sets of making the Wimbledon semis last year.

Verdasco took the early lead by two sets with a free flowing powerful display. Tomic had a triple set point in the second with Verdasco serving at 5-6 but the Spaniard saved the game. Tomic had an easy forehand into open court but it clipped the net cord and dribbled wide. Verdasco then won the tiebreak and Tomic looked dead in the water. You would have thought the kid would have wilted after that failure. The TV commentators had about given up on Tomic, they were saying the heat would be detrimental to his game, engaging long exchanges with the physical Verdasco were the wrong tactics, and that Verdasco was much more comfortable playing in the heat of the afternoon. How wrong they were. Tomic, showing his uncanny and immeasurable court wizardy, silenced doubts about his fitness, and turned the tide on the former top 10 veteran, by winning the next three sets. A brilliant display by Tomic who must now be considered a serious threat to any player in the draw. Brutal, heartbreaking loss for Verdasco who spectacularly made the semis here two years ago.

Some comments about the match…

RIP: BG (Brad Gilbert) just agreed with Cliff’s (Drysdale) earlier analysis saying Tomic was “playing possum.” Tomic played the fatigue/injury card brilliantly and Verdasco bought it. This kid will be a special player. Remember, Rafter was unsure, I asked Cash about Tomic in March and he too was uncertain, said he loved his hands and feel but wondered if he was athletic enough, but this kid hits some amazing shots. he’s completely unique. He slapped that forehand winner on match point like nothing.

Scoop: The BT Express is the real deal, he is very cunning and crafty with his game and his competitive ways, top 5 for sure, may go deep here, #1 is within reach absolutely in reach. He outsmarted and outwitted Verdasco, like a boxer sweet sciencing the raging bull with technical mastery.

Also, my friend Mr. Kim in NJ, a respected coach, noted to me at the US Open two years ago after seeing Tomic in the qualies that he was the best prospect he’d seen in the ATP. Mr. Kim loved the simple service motion of Tomic and his ability to mix up all his offense by hitting a different ball on every shot.


  • Dan Markowitz · January 16, 2012 at 4:31 pm

    I didn’t see match, but I think even with the impressiveness of this comeback, it’s premature to start projecting Tomic into the Top 5. Verdasco is not the same player he was a couple of years ago when he semi-ed. He’s not a top-10 player. And its a bit alarming that Tomic seems to get off to such slow starts. At the USO, he got down big to Cilic and never recovered.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Dan I’m going all in on Tomic being a top 5 player someday. He is separating himself as the premier young prospect in the game today. I didn’t see the whole match but Verdasco was playing very well, he is #22 in the world and playing with a sense of desperation to get back to the top 10. Yet Tomic overcame the two set hole with remarkable poise and determination. Absolutely no doubt about it, Tomic is going to the top 5 soon, I have the same certainty of calling Dolgopolov for the top 20/10. The US Open match is an aberration, I think it’s possible Tomic played that match with one eye on the coming Davis Cup tie vs. Switzerland. I watched the match and Tomic almost seemed to be going through the motions. I think his heart was all in for the Davis Cup. Dan, this Tomic is an uncanny and very special player, very very smart, mentally tough and there is something mysterious about him you just can’t figure out. Verdasco got a full dose of that Tomic tonic today.

  • Andrew Miller · January 16, 2012 at 5:41 pm

    Tomic is a good player, but Dan’s right: it’s not 2009 and Verdasco is not who he was after winning Davis Cup for the Spaniards in 2008. He’s been on a two year slump since 2010, when he capped another pretty good year.

    I think there’s something to Tomic’s ranking soaring upwards, but like Dan says – or Agassi for that matter, if it were as easy as calling in the results…To get top 5 you have to perform day-in, day-out. That’s the job of the top five player – beat everyone you are supposed to and beat some players you may not be supposed to , and then you are there.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 16, 2012 at 11:11 pm

    Verdasco must have been playing some good ball to take a two set lead on Tomic who came into the event with quite a bit of buzz hype. Verdasco is the #22 seed, you guys talk like he’s fallen out of the top 75. I think this is a sort of breakthrough win for Tomic he really showed us something with this victory which was hard fought. I am a total believer in Tomic now. His time is coming soon.

  • Andrew Miller · January 17, 2012 at 6:01 am

    Ryan Harrison – the best thing about this player is that even though I am not a fan of his game – and I think that there are others who believe it aint pretty in the “Roddick’s backhand aint pretty” style of tennis – Ryan Harrison doesn’t care. That will help him on the tour because he will play hard every time.

    I think Verdasco has fallen off a cliff! He may have a #22 ranking, but that is going to fall big time (I think).

  • Dan Markowitz · January 17, 2012 at 9:26 am

    I was impressed by Harrison, even thought he got blitzkrieged by Murray in the last three sets. Harry was averaging 110 mph on his second serve in the first set while Murray was hitting his at 88 mph. His forehand looked a lot better than it did against Cilic at the USO when it looked too spinny to me. He’s got good hands at the net, but what sets him apart from a lot of players is his court coverage. He’s got some serious court coverage.

  • Jayita Belcourt · January 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

    Tomic played an absolutely brilliant match. Listening to the commentary during the match (Jim Courier and co), they had pretty much written him off in the 3rd set even though the twitter posts were to the contrary. Tomic really hung in there and played some great balls at the right times. Tactically, he played some great shots in the 4th set hitting a lot of balls to Verdasco’s backhand. He also made alot of clean winners in the 4th and 5th set that showed a performance with guts, poise and instinct. Love it.

    I believe what we saw from Tomic was just the start. His potential is just starting to shine through. If he can maintain his composure, rhythm and determination – he can certainly go a long way and I agree with Scoop, top 5 potential. Acknowledge he still needs more brawn, fitness and better court movement to be a top player… I loved his comment at the end of the match “today wasn’t fun, it was torture” 🙂 All with you Tomic for round 2.



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