Sara Tomic says being the younger sister of Aussie tennis star Bernard just makes her more determined to make a success of her own career.
The Gold Coast-born Tomic is only 18 and is still making her way in the sport, evidenced by her world ranking of 489th.
But she has progressed to the quarter-finals of the Australian Open playoffs at Melbourne Park and faces Canberra’s Alison Bai on Thursday afternoon (AEDT) for a berth in the last four.
Tomic, who said her older brother was watching her in Tuesday’s victory over Maddison Inglis, is hellbent on being better than him.
“He was watching and he texted me saying ‘good luck’,” she told News Corp.
“He’s a good support in my life. [Having Bernard as a brother] has its ups and downs.
“If anything, it makes me want it more because for me, having Bernard as my brother, I want to be better than him. You’ve got to be better than your brother. It’s a brother-sister thing.
“Sometimes it can be tough, but you have this lifestyle and everyone thinks your life is easy but it’s not … I’m trying to make my name.
“I don’t just want to be known for [being] Bernard’s sister.”
Tomic is coached by her father John and reached a career-high ranking of 379 in June this year.
She broke through for her first tournament victory on tennis’ secondary circuit – the ITF Tour – last year, and she won another event in Egypt in 2016.
In October, she told Fairfax that 2017 was the year for her to step up and make an impact on the WTA Tour.
“I’ve worked really hard on a lot of things this year,” she said.
“I hope this upcoming year is going to be the best for me.”
A different upbringing
Given her tennis commitments of her own, and the fact that her older brother has lived in the spotlight since she was 10, Tomic has enjoyed a different childhood.
In an interview with sports newspaper Vavel in July, she said: “It’s been hard making my own name considering I’m the sister of Bernard.
“I think it’s always going to stick there forever.
“But I always love a challenge and I cannot wait to prove to everyone what I’m capable of and so, [with that] being said, hopefully I will be my own name.”
In the same interview, she said she started playing tennis because of Bernard – and that Serena and Venus Williams inspired her.
She also revealed she had been homeschooled from a very early age.
“It’s really flexible to do homeschooling and I really enjoyed it,” she said.
“I have been doing homeschooling since year five … I still haven’t finished.
“I had a very busy schedule last year so I paused my schooling. I don’t think I will start this year either. But maybe next year, I will look to finish year 12.”