Bernard wins clash with Klein
By Rob O’Gorman
Bernard has won his much anticipated semifinal clash with Brydan Klein to advance to to the final of the USD$50,000 Maccabi Men’s Challenger at East Bentleigh today.
In the first meeting between the teenage colleagues, Tomic won a tightly contested first set 7-6(5) before going on to claim the second set 6-3 to close out the match in just over 90 minutes.
The 16 year old will now face either Marinko Matosevic or Colin Ebelthite in his debut appearance in a Challenger final on Sunday.
“I played one [a Challenger] in Croatia about a year ago and lost first round to a guy that was ranked about 200 and I had set point,” Tomic told tennis.com.au.
“I played another one in Burnie where I got to the quarters and the third one [Maccabi] I got to the final so hopefully I can win tomorrow.”
Today’s result brings to an end a run of 13 consecutive victories for Klein after he won titles in Burnie and Mildura in recent weeks.
Tomic said it was pleasing to beat a player in such good form.
“He’s obviously had a lot of good results, won a Challenger, won a Future so he’s been undefeated for a bit,” he said.
“I knew what I had to do so I came out and I just did it.”
“I enjoy playing good opponents and I slowed it down a bit when it came to crucial moments and in the end I think I played really well.”
The West Australian Klein just won selection ahead of Tomic in the Optus Australian Davis Cup team for Thailand next week. Both were in the national squad for Chile last year.
After surviving a close three-set quarterfinal match on Friday, today Tomic secured an early break to race to a 4-2 lead in the first set.
Klein broke back to level the set at 4-4 before the set went to a tiebreak, which Tomic won 7-5.
In the second set, Tomic twice broke Klein’s serve to open up a 4-1 lead.
Klein fought back to 3-4 before the Gold Coaster held serve and broke again to secure the win.
The men’s singles final will commence at 12:30 pm tomorrow.