Steely resolve by Tomic
ONE first-round victory doesn't make a summer.
But teenager Bernard Tomic has already triumphed at this year's Australian Open after winning over the hearts and minds of Australia's fickle sporting public on day one of the tournament.
Tomic's short but heavily scrutinised career took a quantum leap forward on Rod Laver Arena during Monday's play when he came from two sets down to defeat Spanish hardman Fernando Verdasco.
His physical feat was impressive but the temperament he displayed in conjuring his comeback victory promises to be career defining.
FOX Sports tennis commentator and assistant Australian Davis Cup coach Josh Eagle heads Tomic's growing band of supporters, but remains cautious about the Gold Coast 19-year-old's long-range Open prospects.
"He's come a long way in six months," the former Toowoomba junior champion said yesterday.
"His fitness, maturity and the work he's putting in are starting to bring promising results.
"His body is starting to fill out impressively and his weekend win in the Kooyong Classic would have done wonders for his confidence.
"Bernard is starting to win a lot of respect in the locker room now. To come from two sets down to beat a player the calibre of Fernando Verdasco is a hell of an effort.
"Anything is possible for Bernard during the next two weeks, but I think he has a tough draw ahead of him.
"Then having to meet the top four (Djokovic, Federer, Nadal and Murray) is another huge step up. But he is starting to prove to people what he is capable of."
Tomic plays American Sam Querrey in today's second round.
Eagle said Ipswich 15-year-old Ashleigh Barty also looks poised to build on her impressive junior record despite her first-round Open loss on Monday to Anna Tatashvili."
"I actually called her game and I thought she showed a lot even though she lost," Eagle said. "I'm sure she's headed for at least the top 100 in the next three or four years."
Eagle predicts Novac Djokovic and Petra Kvitova will win this year's Australian Open crowns.
"Petra is the Wimbledon champion and has every shot in her game. She deserves to be favourite to win," Eagle said.