Tomic sets up showdown with Lindahl
Crowd fancy Bernard Tomic will take on No.2 seed Nick Lindahl for a place in Australian Open 2010 after disposing of Kaden Hensel in straight sets, 7-6(4) 6-4.
Fourth-seeded Tomic displayed patches of his best tennis during the match, although swirly conditions on the Australian Open Play-off’s centre court played havoc with both players’ serves.
“Today I played really well,” Tomic said after the match. “Kaden is a great player, and I knew I had to play good and return well.
“It was tough conditions; we both lost a lot of service games, and I was lucky to hold when I needed it. So hopefully tomorrow it isn’t like this.”
The 17-year-old reigning junior US Open champion was on song early in the match, breaking for a 4-3 lead and stroking a number of winners down the court.
Serving for the set at 5-4, however; Tomic was broken back and eventually forced into a tiebreaker.
Hensel pressed during the first set decider, displaying some of the power tennis that has propelled him to the semifinals of the Wildcard Play-off. The No.7 seed ultimately came up short, surrendering 7-4.
Again Tomic found himself under the pump in the second, going down an early break and forced to pull some impressive shots from the baseline.
He took the initiative from there on in, breaking Hensel twice to close out the match 6-4 and prepare for a contest against No.2 seed Lindahl.
“I’ve had a lot of preparation,” Tomic said, “off court I was [on the] Gold Coast training, but I lacked match practice a bit. Now I’m starting to pick it up and I’ve proved to myself that I’m capable of winning matches.
“It would be great to have that wildcard, and I’m going to fight for every ball tomorrow. If I lose I lose; if I win I win.”