Tomic fights through Aust Open qualifying

Jan 13, 2018

Bernard Tomic has wobbled but remains on track to reach the Australian Open main draw, surviving a major scare in his second-round qualifying match against American Tommy Paul.

Tomic eventually prevailed 6-0 6-7 (5-7) 7-6 (7-4) over the 20-year-old in two hours and 11 minutes, scrambling across the line after serving unsuccessfully for the match in both the second and third sets.

Leading 6-5 in the third, he asked umpire Alexandre Robein for a trainer, lifting up his shirt to reveal strapping on his chest.

Tomic then appeared to rescind his request, heading out and dropping serve to force a high-stakes final-set tiebreaker.

With his tennis rebuild on the line, Tomic held firm.

He claimed an epic 18-point duel at 4-3 and clung on to the advantage, firing an unreturnable serve to finish the gutsy American's hopes of a first grand slam appearance outside his homeland.

Tomic, overlooked for a wildcard by Tennis Australia after slumping to world No.142, is just one match away from returning to the main draw for the tenth consecutive year.

On Sunday, he'll play Italian Lorenzo Sonego, a 22-year-old ranked 218 in the world, for a place in the main draw.

Saturday's rain-delayed encounter was a match of three sets but two halves.

The Queenslander raced through the opening set, making just five unforced errors and breaking Paul at will.

Up 5-2 in the second set, Tomic looked like repeating his 48-minute demolition of Vincent Millot in Wednesday's first-round qualifying encounter.

Instead, Paul jumped up.

Tomic allowed the world No.151 back into the match by dropping his serve to love after conceding his first break points.

The emboldened American then took the game to Tomic, finding confidence and, with it, his range.

Tomic's consistency ultimately won out.

The maligned Wimbledon quarter-finalist acknowledged the crowd and signed autographs on Margaret Court Arena, where the match had been moved due to a second day of heavy rain at Melbourne Park.

He joins Aussie trio John-Patrick Smith, Bradley Mousley and Priscilla Hon in the third round of qualifying.

They're expected to play their final qualifiers on Sunday.

Earlier on Saturday, James Duckworth lost his second-round match to German Matthias Bachinger 6-4 6-4.

Navigation

User login

Login using social networks

Powered by Drupal