After learning some brutal lessons both on and off the court in 2012, Australian Bernard Tomic is confident he now has the maturity, hunger and fitness to propel himself into the world’s top 10 by the end of next year.
Tomic reached a career-high ranking of 27th in June this year.
But his 2012 campaign was also blighted by a series of on and off-court controversies.
The 20-year-old was accused of tanking by tennis great John McEnroe during his meek 6-3 6-4 6-0 second-round loss to Andy Roddick at the US Open.
In November, Tomic was found guilty of failing to stop for police after a series of run-ins with officers while driving his high-powered BMW on Australia Day.
And even his 20th birthday celebrations in October were marred when he was reportedly involved in a fight with a friend.
Tomic, who reached the quarter-finals of Wimbledon in 2011 and the fourth round of the Australian Open earlier this year, has seen his ranking slip to 52nd over the past few months.
But after embarking on a hectic training campaign following his final tournament in October, Tomic is fresh, fit and desperate to make 2013 a year to remember for all the right reasons.
“I’d like to reach the top 10 by the end of the year,” Tomic said in Perth on Friday.
“I’m sure if I do the right things and commit, like I’ve agreed to myself, I’ll do quite well.
“This year was a big learning year for me.
“It was one of my biggest years so far.
“It wasn’t the underdog feeling I had in 2011 when I did well at Wimbledon.
“It was a different feeling this year.
“There were a few tournaments to defend and I got used to the pressure and I didn’t quite handle it well.
“I feel I’ve learned a lot this year and it’s going to help me a lot for the start of 2013.”
Tomic said he had made a promise to himself to commit fully to tennis and make the most out of his career.
“I’m looking to do what I did at Wimbledon, and even better,” he said.
“My body is now at a strong level and I’ve worked a lot on my fitness over the last few months.
“I feel like 2013 is going to be a good year for me. I expect a lot from myself and I’m sure I can do it.
“You’re going to learn to focus more when you mature more.
“I think I’ve done that and I’ve practised a lot on my mind and my patience in the last eight weeks.”
Tomic’s new-found resolve will be put to the test on Saturday when he teams with 16-year-old Ashleigh Barty for Australia’s opening Hopman Cup tie against Germany’s Tommy Haas and Andrea Petkovic at Perth Arena.