Bernard Tomic has hired Velimir Zovko as his new coach. This is the most high-profile appointment for the 46-year-old Zovko, who has worked with the Croatian Olympic team, but most recently has coached a few young Russian women on the ITF circuit.
According to The Age, Zovko was hired by Tomic's father and coach, John, to serve as an interim coach while John serves out his suspension for assaulting Bernard's hitting partner Thomas Drouet earlier this year. Though John Tomic's suspension runs until May, it doesn't sound as if he'll be taking much of a back seat.
''Obviously my dad's gonna be still involved," Tomic told The Age. "I'll sort of have two coaches and they're gonna work through it with me until my dad's ban [ends] in May. Until then, I'm going to try with this new coach, with my dad on his side, both of them helping. I know not many players have two coaches, it's something new for me ... we'll see how it unfolds after May. If not, [I can] go back to my own formula.''
Tomic cited Zovko's Croatian background as a big reason for the hire, as well as his apparent reputation for being a disciplined coach.
''Obviously he's from Croatia, he speaks my language, and it's very important for me to have a good communication, someone that understands me, my background, because it's not easy - I'm a difficult sort of guy,'' Tomic said. Tomic, ranked No. 51, is training at the National Tennis Centre in Melbourne, Australia. He'll begin his Australian Open preparations at the Hopman Cup in Perth before attempting to defend his title at the Apia International in Sydney.