AUSTRALIAN tennis junior Sara Tomic says she’s in awe of the mental strength shown by her big brother Bernard during a tough time for the family.
The 15-year-old has always idolised her 20-year-old sibling and, like him, aspires to be world No.1 in the future.
She says the way Bernard has remained focused since their father, and his coach, John was charged with assault is typical of his mental resolve.
“My brother, he’s the type of guy that if something happens, he’s always straight on to business,” Sara Tomic told AAP.
“He hasn’t been sad or anything. I think mentally he’s incredible and I idolise his mentality.”
Sara joined Bernard in making an early exit from the French Open on Sunday, suffering a 7-5 6-3 loss to Croatian Jana Fett in the first round of the girls’ singles.
Bernard also lost in round one of the men’s event, retiring hurt while two sets down against Romanian Victor Hanescu last week.
Unlike Bernard, Sara is not coached by her dad John, instead working with Johnny Stamenovic on the Gold Coast.
She was playing in Romania when her father was charged with assaulting Bernard’s former training partner Thomas Drouet early last month and said the incident hadn’t affected her tennis.
Sara receives constant support from her brother and he offered her advice via a text message prior to her first-round defeat at Roland Garros.
Bernard has returned to his Monte Carlo training base, along with his dad.
“It’s good to see he’s still messaging me, and I’ve been talking to him more lately, it’s good brother-sister communication,” she said.
Sara is rated an exciting prospect and, despite the defeat at the claycourt tournament, she believes her game is progressing all the time.
“I definitely feel like I’m improving,” said Sara Tomic, who reached the second round of the junior Australian Open.
“I did get taller too, which I’m happy with, I want to be like six (foot) two.”
The 56th-ranked junior will now turn her attention to preparing for the girls event at Wimbledon and while becoming the world’s best player remains the big goal, she’s learning to be more patient with it.
“To be No.1, it’s just so much hard work,” she said.
“It’s a lot of sacrifice as well and I’m willing to do that and I’m willing to do whatever I can to do it.” – AAP