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Tomic needs an overhaul, says Newk
Darren Walton
15:22 AEST Wed Nov 21 2012

Tennis great John Newcombe believes Bernard Tomic requires an extreme makeover to have any hope of reviving his flagging career.

Newcombe says the 20-year-old needs to get supremely fit, revamp his predictable game and lose the attitude to realise his potential.

"Bernie's out in the real world now and I don't think he's come to that conclusion," Newcombe told AAP on Wednesday.

"He might have to hit rock bottom first and fall out of the top 100. That can easily happen."

If he continues his run of outs during the Australian summer, after reaching the Brisbane International semi-finals and last 16 at Melbourne Park this year, Tomic will in fact be at risk of slipping from the top 100 as early as January.

Such a dreaded scenario would leave the dual junior grand slam champion having to qualify for premier events and Newcombe suspects Tomic may struggle against the hungrier pros desperate to earn a living.

"They're trained killers out there," said the seven-times grand slam champion and former world No.1.

"I think Bernie thinks it's just going to happen and it's not."

While others are advocating a change of coach from his father John, Newcombe believes Tomic's troubles run deeper than that.

"Unless he's prepared to devote 100 per cent of time and effort to becoming as good as he could become, it doesn't matter who his coach is. It's going to fall apart," he said.

"The answer to Bernard is Bernard.

"Until Bernie makes a decision on what he's willing to do and draws a line in the sand and knuckles down, he's not going to fulfil his full potential.

"I'm not sure also if he realises that his game has become predictable.

"He had a different type of game that worked when he came on to the scene and guys had trouble dealing with it.

"Now they've figured out what he can and what he can't do. They're probing that and it's making Bernie very uncomfortable in his matches, not realising a way out of that."

Tomic has dipped from a career-high No.27 in the world to 52nd in the rankings and Newcombe doubts he'll crack the top 20 with his current playing style.

"He can change that but to play another type of game, he's got to get his fitness up another 30 per cent," Newcombe said.

"Then he can start developing a more powerful game.

"He can volley well; he should be spending more time at the net.

"But if you're not 100 per cent fit, that's hard to do. And if your mobility is not great, that's hard to do.

"If I was giving him advice, I'd say go and find the best physical trainer in the world and go and spend three months getting yourself really fit."

The former Australian Davis Cup captain said Mark Philippoussis, who, like Tomic, stands 196cm tall, had similar problems.

"The answer for Mark was to get 100 per cent fit," Newk said.

"When he got himself fit, look what he did. Davis Cup in France, he killed them. Then he made the Wimbledon final when he was 100 per cent fit.

"Then he'd slacken off and, a big guy like that, if he's not 100 per cent fit, he can't move properly so he can't play.

"And Bernie's not going to beat these guys with the game he's playing.

"He's got to work harder physically than the smaller guys to get that big frame around the court."


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