There have been countless players in tennis who have failed to realize their potential. Some are touted to emulate the careers of greats like Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, others are tipped to have moderate success, but very few of them actually manage to fulfill the expectations.
Australia's Bernard Tomic certainly had a lot of expectations riding on his shoulders when he first burst on to the scene. But after rising to as high as No.17 in the world at a young age, Tomic has greatly disappointed his backers in recent years - with his on-court failures as well as off-court shenanigans.
The 28-year old recently spoke to WTA player Vicky Duval on her podcast, exploring a range of topics - right from the players he idolized growing up to his future plans in tennis. And his comments on a certain Roger Federer were rather interesting, for lack of a better word.
After having a photo with Roger Federer, he went from being my idol to not being my idol: Tomic
Tomic was asked by Duval which players he idolized in tennis. The proverbial bad boy of tennis replied that while he idolized Roger Federer growing up, he didn't idolize him after meeting him at the age of 13.
"I idolized Roger Federer at a young age, Federer and Agassi, but just stopped idolizing anyone after a period of time. But definitely Roger Federer, I would say. After I had a photo with him at the age of 13, he really wasn't my idol anymore," Tomic said tongue-in-cheek.
The Australian added that he was only joking, and then shared an anecdote about the time he met Roger Federer as a teenager.
"I made him this thing for the first time, I think a crown, when I was 13. Got the photo with him and he went from being my idol to not my idol," Tomic said.
In 2015, the 28-year old had been embroiled in a verbal spat with Roger Federer. The Swiss had said in an interview that Tomic had missed his opportunity to live up to his potential, to which the Aussie had retorted that Federer was nowhere near his arch-rival Novak Djokovic's level.
Bernard Tomic doesn't think he can play till 39 like Roger Federer
The World No. 226 was also asked by Duval about the players he found it tricky to handle. Tomic named World No. 9 Diego Schwartzman, Great Britain's Dan Evans and Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez as some of the toughest players he had faced and lost to.
Tomic also cited some other match-ups like Tomas Berdych vs Kevin Anderson (Berdych leads Anderson 12-0 in their h2h), Roger Federer vs David Ferrer (Federer leads Ferrer 17-0) and Djokovic vs Ferrer to prove his point. According to the Aussie, there are always going to be certain opponents a player will struggle against on the tour, no matter what their ranking is.
At the end of the podcast, the Australian was asked if he would like to play till 38 or 39 years of age like Roger Federer has. Tomic replied that while playing for 9-10 years from now was out of the question for him, he would still like to play till 35.
"I believe I've been on the tour for a while. I was 16, I was winning matches at the Australian Open, my success came at a young age. I don't think I can play till at least 38 or 39 like Federer, that's 9-10 years from now. Probably not, probably the maximum I'll go to will be 34-35 so we'll see. I just got my spirit together to maybe to survive another 5, 6 or 7," Tomic quipped.