When will he learn?

When will he learn?

Recently there’s been much ado made about Federer’s comments on Tomic in Brisbane, earlier this month.  Most of it has been fueled by the press – go figure – and by Tomic’s own response to Federer.  It was obvious Tomic took a bit of a jab at Federer.  In my opinion, it was immature, brash and served to show that all that talk about maturing, learning, changing and being for real is exactly what it was before and what Federer called it, JUST TALK.  And right on cue, Bernie lost in straight sets to Murray, in the fourth round of this year’s Aussie Open.

But before I go on and skewer Tomic, let’s analyze Bernie’s 2015 season, based on a particular statement Federer made when discussing him in Brisbane.  Before we start, I’ll bring you up to speed on how I analyzed this.  I took each of Bernard’s participated tournaments and noted how far he went in each of them.  I also assigned weights to each round as a way of helping me measure how well he performed, on average.  Here’s how it works:  Each round is assigned a score weight.  1 for a first round showing, all the way up to 8 if a player won the tournament.  7 was a finalist showing.  Oh, before I forget, I also noted who he lost to and what the score was.  It threw up some interesting stats at the end of the day.  But first, here’s the weight scale, below.

R1 – 1
R2 – 2
R3 – 3
Fourth Round – 4
Quarter Finals – 5
Semi Finals – 6
Finals – 7
Winner – 8

Now on to Federer’s statement 🙂

No, he’s been good, but then top 10 is another story. The year is not just one month long or one week long. It’s 52 weeks. It’s every day.

Fact: Consistently, Tomic’s started a season looking strong and subsequently declared himself ready for the next level, only to flame out as the season progresses.  Remember 2013 anyone?  Back then, Tomic was brash enough to claim he could beat Federer in a possible third round match… if he got that far.  To those of you claiming that it was none of Federer’s business TO STATE HIS OPINION, what do you have to say about this?  We obviously know how that went.  Okay so let’s analyze Tomic’s first three months in 2015.

Tomic_2015_First_Quarter
Tomic’s Performance over the first quarter of 2015

As usual he came out of the blocks firing, reaching the fourth round or better in his first seven tournaments.  Despite this start, notice the 8th tournament, the masters 1000 in Miami.  He was knocked out in the third round of that tournament.  It was a trend that would become the norm, more times than not, for the rest of the year.  Think I’m wrong?  Let’s look at the second quarter.

Tomic_2015_Second_Quarter

So in the second quarter, apart from the one spike – a quarterfinal showing in Stuttgart – dear ol Bernie didn’t do much right.  He was shown out of a tournament in the first round, four times, and didn’t make it past the the third around in any tournament, at the others.  This included dropping a two sets to love lead against Kokkinakis at the French.  Oh and we’ll touch more on this losing while leading trend a bit later.  Let’s move on to the third quarter of the year.

Tomic_2015_Third_Quarter

Oh look!  Bernie won a tournament.  Maybe that’s why he felt his year was amazing… cos he claimed Bogota and a grand total of 250 points.  You’re the man.  Okay I couldn’t help the sarcasm.  Bernard Tomic’s performance was only mildly better.  Yes he won in Bogota, and yes there was a fourth round showing in Toronto, but after that it’s the regular first to third round showings.  At least he only got booted out at the first round, once.  Note that Tomic did not enter any tournaments in September during this quarter.  And on to the final quarter.

Tomic_2015_Fourth_Quarter

Bernard actually put in a fair showing in the fourth quarter.  All his tournaments were in October and after that, his season was done.  He still couldn’t avoid the customary first round boot, but he followed it up with an impressive showing in Shanghai and a few solid fourth round finishes in Stockholm and Vienna.  Then he dipped dramatically in Paris.

So let’s look at that Federer statement again shall we?

No, he’s been good, but then top 10 is another story. The year is not just one month long or one week long. It’s 52 weeks. It’s every day.

I’ll say it’s pretty darn accurate.  Yes Tomic’s been good.  Yes he has the talent to do MUCH BETTER and he showed flashes of it last season but it was still fair at best.  It certainly was not amazing like Tomic said in this sentence.

I just would have liked Roger to say, ‘OK, look, he had an amazing 2015,’ Tomic said. Went from 70, 80 to being 16.

Yes Tomic may have jumped up the rankings, but a player’s ranking is both specific to that player’s performance and relative to the performances of all the other players entered in the ranking system.  If you put in a year like this and you jump from 70 to 16, it only proves the theory that men’s tennis these days is top heavy.  There might be depth of field in terms of talent and ability but not necessarily in terms of competition.  Let’s look at some interesting stats of Tomic in 2016.

  • Tomic won exactly ONE tournament in 2015 out of the 27 he entered.
  • Tomic lost a match after winning the first set, NINE times in 2015.  One of those was a two sets to love lead in the second round of the French, over fellow Aussie, Kokkinakis.
  • Tomic suffered SIX first round losses in 2015.
  • Tomic was able to make the fourth round or better in only 13 of the 27 tournaments he entered.  If we are being VERY FAIR and judging making the fourth round as putting you in mild contention for the title, that’s a poor 48% conversion rate of opportunities to go deep and possibly win.
  • Tomic lost to Steve Johnson three times last year, twice in the first round.  Guess Tomic’s nowhere near Steve Johnson.
  • Tomic’s performance at the slams? Fourth round, R2, R3, R3 in that order.  Tomic_Slams_2015
  •   Tomic’s performance at the masters events entered? QF, R3, R3, R1, Fourth round, R2, QF, R2.
  • Tomic_Masters_2015
  • Based on the weight system, Tomic’s average score over all was a 3.29.  His average at the slams was 3, and his average at the masters was 2.8.  So basically he averaged a 3 out of a possible 8 in each tournament.  This equates to an average third round showing, all season long.

So when you look at it, was Federer being rude, inaccurate with his evaluation or unfair?  Think about it from the perspective of being a parent and your child comes home giving you this very detailed report on his academic performance from the school.  Would you say this is an “amazing” score card?  Yes you might be inclined to be supportive, but most likely you’d balance that with being realistic.  I mean if this is amazing, I’d hate to see horrible.  The truth is Federer gets a lot of heat for being blunt and honest with his opinions – mind you his opinion was ASKED FOR – but on this one, he didn’t miss the mark in my opinion.  If I were Tomic, I’d take good advice from a G.O.A.T contender and take baby steps.  He says he’s not that far off.  Let’s see how he does in 2016.

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