In three previous meetings, Federer has bested the up-and-comer with little-to-no difficulty.
Tomic has only managed to capture one set in those matches dating back to March 2011, when they first met during Davis Cup competition. At the 2012 Australian Open, Federer destroyed Tomic in straight sets, 6-4, 6-2, 6-2.
The youngster's lack of success against Federer hasn't stripped him of his confidence heading into their next meeting.
Tomic said this to The Australian:
I feel so confident. This is the perfect time to play him (Federer). I think I've got a good attitude to win. I've beaten a lot of good players over the last past two weeks, especially Novak (Djokovic). I think I can do it.
I'm ready. I'm not going to say I don't have the belief. I do have the belief now. It's possible. I showed that in Perth (Hopman Cup) that you can beat these players. Now I'm going to try to beat him.
This is a chance, and I'm going to take it on board and we'll see what happens on Saturday night.
I don't blame him for being confident.
To succeed at a high level in athletics, you have to have what many would call unrealistic self-belief.
However, the reality is Tomic is probably a year or two short of defeating Federer, or any other of the top four players in the world at a grand slam.
He did knock off Djokovic 6-4, 6-4 at the Hopman Cup, which is a tune-up event for the Aussie Open. Though it obviously draws quality players, the best-of-three-set final is nothing compared to the intensity in the finale of a Grand Slam event.
Tomic is young, talented and he has big dreams, but the poise and experience advantage is clearly Federer's.
This will be an entertaining match, and Federer will have to play well to win, but he'll once again leave no doubt that Tomic isn't on his level yet.
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