Tomic: I can beat Nadal
Melbourne - Bernard Tomic on Sunday said he was capable of upsetting Rafael Nadal in the Australian Open first round, but admitted he will need to be at his best to beat the world number one.
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The local favourite, hammered in Saturday's Sydney International final by fifth-ranked Juan Martin del Potro, has been in good form but was handed a horror draw at Melbourne Park.
Few believe Tomic, 21, has much of a chance against the 13-time Grand Slam winner, but the confident world number 57 said he had faith in his abilities.
"Everything is possible these days, everything is possible," he said.
"I'm playing good. I'm pretty confident. I've just got to play the tennis I played early throughout Sydney. Obviously if I can do that I'm going to give myself a chance.
"It's going to be difficult, going to have to be one of those days where I can play my best."
Tomic's daunting encounter with Nadal on Tuesday is set to be Tuesday's prime-time match on Rod Laver Arena and whatever happens, the Australian said he would learn from the experience.
"I'm going to use it as an opportunity. Whatever happens, win or lose, I'll take a lot from this match," he said.
"It's going to help me in 2014 a lot because obviously I've had the past two years where I haven't done well throughout the year except just tournaments like Wimbledon and Davis Cup.
"I need to keep this attitude up. If I do, I know I can play like I played last week."
While Nadal, who opened his season by winning the Qatar Open, is the overwhelming favourite to beat Tomic, the Spaniard is taking nothing for granted.
"It is not the best round I know to start a Grand Slam, playing against a player who is local and who is young, who played great in the past here, and who is playing well," he said. "It's a tough start."
Their only career meeting was in the Melbourne third round in 2011, when the young Australian showed class and potential before going out 6-2, 7-5, 6-3.
Tomic went down 6-3, 6-1 against del Potro in the Sydney final, succumbing to the former US Open champion in just 53 minutes.