Tomic ‘confident’ of shrugging off virus to start French Open

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Bernard Tomic has dispelled lingering fitness doubts to declare himself a certain starter for the French Open, which begins in Paris on Sunday.

Australia’s top-ranked men’s player retired with a virus during his opening-round match at last week’s Nice Open.

But he didn’t hold back during a sweaty hour-long training session at Roland Garros on Saturday morning with American buddy Jack Sock, and said he’d be ready for his opener against Italian qualifier Luca Vanni on Tuesday.

“I’m still sick but it’s OK. I did the right thing by not playing on in Nice and I’m confident for this match,” Tomic said.

“But it’s not easy because this guy beat me already and it’s always tough to play a qualifier.”

Tomic, who has slashed his ranking by almost 100 spots in the past 10 months to be seeded 27th in Paris, arrived from his Monte Carlo base on Friday.

He said he was feeling “probably 80, 90 per cent” after resting for the past five days and was more concerned about his opponent than his health.

“If this sickness goes away, I should be OK,” he said.

“But it’s been with me now for the last week, so it’s not something you want to bring into the French Open for sure.”

If Tomic avenges his loss to Italy’s world No.117 in Madrid earlier this month, he could face Australian Davis Cup teammate Thanasi Kokkinakis in the second round.

On debut in Paris, 19-year-old Kokkinakis also faces a qualifier on Tuesday, Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.

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