In the doubles draw in Brisbane this week: Milos Raonic and Bernard Tomic.
It’s not the first time – the pair of Monte Carlo residents played together in Rome last May, beating some very good teams before losing to the Bryan brothers in the semi-finals.
But they’re SO different, it’s hard to fathom that the two might be friends. Raonic is so hyper-focused, dedicated and driven. Tomic, well, those aren’t the first things that come to mind about him. Tomic has been caught acting up a bit in clubs, partying and hooning around his hometown; Raonic doesn’t even drink.
And yet, they are friends.
(Above pic at Kooyong in 2012).
They’re both very tall. And they both have impressive heads of hair, that’s true.
But they do have one big thing in common – their heritage (Raonic was born in Montenegro, Tomic in Germany, but his parents are Croatian) and both moved a long way from home when they were only about three years old.
Open Court pal Sébastien Fest, longtime tennis writer and sports editor for DPA (Deutsche Presse Agentur), did an interview with Raonic two years ago at the Australian Open that covered various subjects. But one of them was his friendship with Tomic.
The two hung out (although they definitely kept their distance – the ladies sitting behind them look unimpressed), during Genie Bouchard’s Australian Open semi-final against Li Na a year ago.
Fest graciously allowed Open Court to reproduce Raonic’s comments here.
What do they talk about, Fest asked him (Raonic said they talk in both English and Serbo-Croatian – depending on the topic).
“We’re both young, both like to talk about girls. What do you expect from a young guy?” Raonic said.
“He’s a nice kid, Sometimes he gets a bit of harsh feedback in the news here. But I think people just need to focus on his tennis rather than his celebrity factor.
“He’s a good kid. Being on Tour can get quite lonely, so to have somebody like him that I can talk to, spend time with, go out to dinner with, it’s enjoyable.”
You just never know.
In other words, we’re okay with them hanging together, because Raonic is incorruptible and hey, he could be nothing but a good influence on the kid. If Tomic stayed away from Genie Bouchard, though, we’d be okay with that. For the good of Canadian tennis. 🙂