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The summer of tennis officially gets underway tonight at the Hopman Cup with Bernard Tomic playing Milos Raonic in the marquee match of the Australia-Canada tie. Join us for live scores and commentary from 8.30pm AEDT.
After a disappointing 2013 season, Tomic will once again use the Hopman Cup as a springboard to ensure another strong start to the new year.
Despite his poor form playing abroad last year, Tomic enjoyed a very solid Australian Open summer in 2013, beating Novak Djokovic at the Hopman Cup before winning his first ATP tour title at the Medibank International in Sydney.
Tomic eventually made the third round of the Australian Open before succumbing to all time great Roger Federer in three competitive sets.
Despite the early round exit, Federer had to produce some clutch tennis to beat Tomic, particularly in the second set tiebreaker.
Tomic also made the fourth round at Wimbledon last year, losing in a tight four setter to Tomas Berdych.
These results show that Tomic certainly has the skill and weaponry to challenge the very best players on the ATP tour.
For all his potential however, Tomic continues to produce underwhelming results when playing in other tournaments.
He has yet to make major inroads at the French Open or US Open and continues to play poorly at many Masters events.
Add the off field drama he experienced last year when his father was suspended as coach following an altercation with Tomic’s French training partner, and its easy to see why Tomic failed to build on the winning momentum he gained after winning in Sydney.
2014 however marks a new start for Tomic and he will need to be close to his best tonight against Raonic.
The big serving Canadian rightfully ranks as one of the ATP tour’s hottest prospects. He made his maiden Masters final last year at Toronto, losing in straight sets to Rafael Nadal.
Raonic also won two ATP tour titles last year at San Jose and Thailand, defeating accomplished stars Tommy Haas and Berdych respectively.
Despite possessing a very solid forehand, Raonic’s main weapon is his monster serve, capable of generating speeds well over 220km/h.
Tomic however is the better mover on court, and if the Australian manages to return well, his good mixture of finnese and power should be enough for him to earn his first victory of the Australian summer.