Tomic’s little sister aims to surpass her brother

FORCEFUL: Sara Tomic heads for victory at the Queensland Junior Winter International at Kawana.
FORCEFUL: Sara Tomic heads for victory at the Queensland Junior Winter International at Kawana. PHOTO JOHN MCCUTCHEON

AUSTRALIA'S Grand Slam drought may end at the hands of a Tomic, but it will not necessarily be Bernard.

After an impressive showing at the Queensland Junior Winter International in Kawana the controversial star's 16-year-old sister, Sara, said she hoped to beat her big brother to Grand Slam glory.

The hard-hitting right-hander took out yesterday morning's final with a gritty 0-6 6-3 7-6 win over highly touted Sydney prospect Violet Apisah.

"Hopefully in a few years I can maybe be better than him in juniors and be winning a Grand Slam (tournament) before he does," she said.

While her big brother favours a defensive style that neutralises his opponent's game, Sara is a power hitter who strikes the ball crisply and attempts to dominate her rivals.

Even with her impressive skill set and the benefits of seeing Bernard's travails in transitioning to the pro game, the Gold Coast teenager has set herself a difficult task of bettering his junior career. Bernard, after all, was once considered the best young player in the world.

"I definitely learnt from his mistakes," she said.

"He has taught me a lot. Especially when I was a bit younger, because he was the next big thing in Australia.

"He's taught me a lot of things not just on the court but off the court."

No Australian has won a Grand Slam event since Sam Stosur's US Open triumph in 2011, and for many years Tomic, a pro since 2008, has been seen as the future of Australian tennis.

The new wave of junior stars - highlighted by Wimbledon quarter-finalist Nick Kyrgios - took some of the pressure off Tomic and he responded recently with an emotional ATP win that catapulted him back into the top 100.

The 21-year-old beat Ivo Karlovic 7-6 3-6 7-6 in the final of the Claro Open Colombia in Bogota last week to improve his world ranking to 70 and stake a claim for a US Open wildcard.

"I'm really proud of him," Sara said. "He had his second title the other day and it's a big step for him and he's got to learn - he's got to keep doing that.

"Whatever floats his boat on court he's got to keep doing it and win."

She hoped it would be a matter of time before he lost the tag of tennis bad boy.

"People misunderstand him," she said.

"They kind of think the bad. They kind of think he's a tool or something, but he's actually a pretty good guy and he's really caring and he does look after me."

After competing in an event in Fiji, Sara will fly to New York and reunite with her brother before competing in the US Open Junior Championship, her first junior Grand Slam event.

Topics:  bernard tomic grand slam

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