He accepts the odds are stacked against him, but Bernard Tomic is vowing to take it to Rafael Nadal in their first-round Australian Open blockbuster at Melbourne Park.
No time to mope after copping a 6-3 6-1 hiding from Juan Martin del Potro in the Sydney International final, Tomic has just three days to pick himself up for the world No.1 at Melbourne Park.
The 21-year-old admits he’ll need to be at the very top of his game to challenge the 13-times grand slam champion, almost certainly under the bright lights of Rod Laver Arena on Tuesday night.
“It’s going to be an amazing match for me on Tuesday against Rafa,” Tomic said on Saturday night.
“I’m going to prepare as best I can. It’s a tough ask. Obviously tonight I wanted to win this championship (in Sydney); I couldn’t do it. Juan played too good.
“Now my focus is on playing Rafa. It’s a good opportunity. I’m playing a legend, probably one of the best players we have around now, Roger and Rafa.
“He’s a champion. Obviously (to have) won that many grand slams.
“It’s not easy. He’s one of the most difficult players to play. Unfortunately I have to play him first round, but I’m going to bring it to him.”
Tomic said he would draw on the experience of playing Nadal in the third round at the Open as an 18-year-old in 2011.
“I felt like I had some chances,” he said.
“I have to be ready and prepare for this match if I want to have any chance of winning.
“I don’t mind playing left handers. His game is very unique and he’s the best at what he does. This is why he’s No.1 in the world and a great champion.
“So I need to play my game and just relax. I played good tennis throughout this week. If I can just take a few of these matches that I played this week and play the way I played, maybe against him I have a chance.
“The odds are not in my favour, but I have nothing to lose. This is something that I have on my side.”