By Niall Clarke
- Andy Murray faces Bernard Tomic in the fourth round of the Australian Open
- Head to head: 3-0
- Winner faces David Ferrer or John Isner in the quarter finals.
MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA- Andy Murray will turn his attention back to tennis after his father-in-law’s collapse, when he meets Bernard Tomic in round four of the Australian Open.
After the Brit’s scrappy four set win over Joao Sousa on Saturday, Murray rushed to hospital to tend to his father-in-law Nigel Sears who had collapsed whilst the match was taking place.
As Murray was struggling with the Portuguese, Sears had fell ill in the stands whilst watching his player Ana Ivanovic play Madison Keys. The cause of the 58 year old’s collapse has yet to be revealed, but he is expected to be released from hospital later today.
“My medical advice is that I will be allowed to leave the hospital shortly and I have been cleared to fly back to the UK in the next day or so,” Sears said in a statement (Source: BBC Sport).
“I just wanted to express my sincerest thanks to the incredible people who came to my aid, as well as the brilliant staff both at the Australian Open and the Epworth Hospital.
“I feel truly grateful to everyone involved for the manner in which this has been handled. While I appreciate the level of media interest in this story I would prefer not to comment any further, thanks.”
Murray’s wife, Kim, is currently at home expecting their first child to be born within the next few weeks.
The world number two will now put his mind back on tennis as he faces Tomic in the fourth round on Monday. The pair are due on Rod Laver Arena at 8AM GMT.
The Scot has never lost a set to the 16th seed in three previous meetings. The last of which came in the Davis Cup semi final last year that Murray was able to win 7-5, 6-2, 6-2.
Tomic is the only Australian left in the main draw of the men’s singles and will have firmly have the crowd behind him when he meets the second seed. He beat fellow Aussie John Millman in straight sets last time out- no doubt his best performance in the tournament thus far.
There is no doubting Tomic’s talent. The 23 year old has one of the most effortless games in the sport but has not reached the quarter final of a Grand Slam event since Wimbledon 2011.
Five years have passed since the world number 16 made his breakthrough run at SW19 and only now does he seem to be making positive progress.
Tomic’s career has largely been highlighted by his off-court controversies rather than his tennis. In July last year he was arrested in Miami after a loud party and hit out at the Australian Tennis authorities.
But despite that, the Aussie made steady progress in 2015 and finished inside the world’s top 20 for the first time. Tomic has the aim of breaking the top 10 this year despite Roger Federer’s comments about him constantly missing out.
Tomic responded in kind, saying that Federer is not on the level of world number one Novak Djokovic.
“If he believes I’m very far away from the top 10, I also believe my prediction that he’s nowhere near Novak’s tennis right now,” said Tomic as reported on BBC Sport.
“It also motivates me. When I’m playing well, I’m a top-eight player in the world. My ranking has to get there.
“I’m going to work every day this year getting to the top 10. It’s not just getting to the top 10 – I’m going to get there – it’s about staying there for a while. It’s about being consistent.”
The Aussie has also said that he will follow the blueprints of Kevin Anderson who shocked Murray at this stage at the US Open in 2015.
“Andy loves playing players that attack. I don’t think he likes players like John Isner and Anderson,” Tomic said as reported on BBC Sport..
“You have to take the ball to him, play aggressive, but not too aggressive, and rally at the right time.”
It is undoubtedly a big test for the British number one, but it is one he will be expected to pass. Murray is aiming to win the Australian Open for the first time after failing in four previous finals. If he get’s past Tomic, Murray will then meet David Ferrer or John Isner in the quarter finals, then possibly 2014 champion Stan Wawrinka in the last four.
The Swiss has a big test of his own against big serving Canadian Milos Raonic on Monday. Gael Monfils vs Andrey Kuznetsov rounds off the action in the men’s.
Murray is due to face Tomic on Rod Laver Arena at 8AM GMT on Monday.
|FOLLOW BRITWATCH – SPORTS IN GENERAL, BRITS IN PARTICULAR!|