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Bernard Tomic can break into the top 10, says Rafael Nadal

Andrew Hendrie 28 Dec 2016
  • Nadal's bold prediction for Tomic
  • Says the Australian can still break into the top 10
Rafael Nadal believes Bernard Tomic can reach the top 10

Rafael Nadal has declared controversial Australian Bernard Tomic can still break into the world’s top 10 despite a disappointing end to his 2016 season.

Tomic has consistently stated his intentions to crack the coveted top 10 at the beginning of each season, and earlier this month he again re-iterated it was one of his goals for 2017.

The 24-year-old finished 2016 ranked 26 in the world - almost 10 spots lower than his career-high ranking of No. 17 that was achieved around this time last year.

With his dedication to tennis and focus regularly questioned, Swiss superstar Roger Federer famously gave Tomic a reality check at the Brisbane International earlier this year.

"He's been good, but then top 10 is another story," Federer said back in January.
"The year is not just one month long or one week long. It's 52 weeks. It's every day. That (is what) he's been struggling to show, to be quite honest.
"Many seasons now in a row we have seen or heard that top 10 is the goal, and he's missed out on it by a long shot. I think before speaking so highly, maybe it's good to take it to the next level, whatever that is. We shall see."

However fellow legend Rafael Nadal - who last month said Nick Kyrgios could become World No. 1 - believes that Tomic remains on the right path to enter the game’s elite.

Nadal and Tomic will both begin their competitive 2017 campaigns at the Brisbane International - which begins on January 1 - and the Spaniard offered some kind words for the Australian.



Nadal says Tomic has the talent to break into the game's elite

“He played a great year, especially the first four or five months he played so good,” the 14-time major winner told The Courier Mail.
“For sure, he has a chance to be in the top 10.
“He’s a big talent and he improved a lot in terms of mentality. He has won important matches and is improving. He’s a charismatic player for the tour. He’s a great guy.
“There can only be 10 players in the top 10 — it’s always difficult. But he has a great amount of talent.”

Tomic failed to win an ATP title for the first time since 2012 this year, with his highlights including reaching the Acapulco final (lost to Dominic Thiem), along with advancing to the Round of 16 at the Australian Open and Wimbledon.

Younger stars such as Dominic Thiem, Nick Kyrgios, Lucas Pouille and Alexander Zverev have all overtaken Tomic in the rankings, while the former junior sensation was again involved in multiple controversial moments, including returning a serve on match point in Madrid with the handle of his racquet.

After registering a solid quarter-final finish at the Cincinnati Masters in August, Tomic’s season quickly declined with an opening round US Open exit and first round defeats at the China Open and Shanghai Masters, where an abdominal injury would ultimately end his year.

Tomic is defending semi-final points at the upcoming Brisbane International, while Nadal will make his tournament debut in the Queensland capital after starting his season at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi.


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Bernard Tomic can break into the top 10, says Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal has declared controversial Australian Bernard Tomic can still break into the world’s top 10 despite a disappointing end to his 2016 season.

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