Tomic through to Brisbane semis
Australian No.1 Bernard Tomic is through to his maiden ATP semi-final after posting a straight-sets win over Denis Istomin at the Brisbane International on Friday.
But the 19-year-old hardly appeared satisfied with his milestone as he booked a dream showdown with top seed Andy Murray.
Tomic’s countdown to the year’s first grand slam gained ominous momentum when he downed Uzbek Istomin 6-3 7-6 (7-4) in their quarter-final.
Tomic’s rapid rise was put in perspective when he arrived at the Brisbane International as the eighth seed and world No.42.
Last year he relied on a wildcard to play due to his No.208 ranking.
Now Tomic looks set to soar to a career-high ranking in the 30s following his stellar run in Brisbane – and he could even gain a prized Australian Open seeding if he wins the tournament.
But the true gauge awaits on Saturday – world No.4 Murray, who earlier cruised into the semi-finals with a 6-2 6-2 thumping of doubles partner Marcos Baghdatis.
Tomic – the youngest player in the men’s top 50 – had never progressed past the Brisbane International first round in three previous attempts.
But on Friday the Wimbledon quarter-finalist would have been forgiven for backing himself to at least make the final of his home tournament after finally providing Istomin a hit-out.
Remarkably, Istomin, 25, came into the quarter-finals without completing a match.
Florian Mayer had retired with a groin injury in the second set of their opening match and another German – veteran Tommy Haas – withdrew with a calf strain to give him a round-two walkover.
Tomic looked like a young man in a hurry from the outset, breaking Istomin in the fourth game to seal the first set in 31 minutes.
He had the crowd on its feet when he outlasted Istomin 7-4 in the tiebreaker to seal the match in 78 minutes.
French second seed Gilles Simon was the first man through to the last four when he eliminating Santiago Giraldo 7-6 (7-2) 6-4 on Thursday.
Simon will next take on Ukraine’s world No.15 Alexandr Dolgopolov after the third seed outlasted former champion Radek Stepanek, the sixth-seeded Czech, in their quarter-final 4-6 6-3 6-3.