Tomic plays Andy Murray in the Australian Open last 16 on Monday as he looks to reach his first grand slam quarterfinal since Wimbledon in 2011.
The 23-year-old was once considered one of the brightest talents on the tour but his progress has stalled in recent years amid a number of off-court controversies.
Federer questioned Tomic's ambitions of reaching the top 10 at the Brisbane International earlier this month, saying: "He's been struggling to show [it], to be quite honest.
"Many seasons now in a row we have seen or heard that top 10 is the goal, and he's missed out on it by a long shot."
Tomic was not impressed by the comments and, speaking after his third-round win over John Millman on Saturday, the world No.17 hit back at the 17-time grand slam winner.
"Yeah, well, he has his predictions. I think he's also far away from Djokovic as well if he wants to say that," Tomic said.
"If he believes I'm very far away from the top 10, I also believe my prediction that he's nowhere near Novak's tennis right now.
"It also motivates me. When I'm playing well, I'm a top-eight player in the world. My ranking has to get there.
"I'm going to work every day this year getting to the top 10. It's not just getting to the top 10. I'm going to get there. It's about staying there for a while. It's about being consistent."