Bernie gives Aussies 1-0 lead
Bernard Tomic has given Australia a valuable early edge in their must-win Davis Cup tie against Uzbekistan with a tough straight-sets win over big-serving Farrukh Dustov on Friday.
Tomic triumphed 7-6(6) 6-4 6-4 on Namangan’s Pahlavon Sport Complex clay court in a welcome Cup return.
The 20-year-old had to fight hard against the 216th-ranked, 196cm Dustov but, after battling back from an early break, his class shone through.
Tomic broke Dustov’s serve in the opening game of the second set and kept him at bay with some solid service to go two sets up.
The pair traded breaks for much of the third set but Tomic remained in control to improve his Davis Cup singles win-loss record to an impressive 9-2.
“He was serving really well and should have closed out the first set, being up 5-4,” Tomic said.
“I did a very good job to break back and win that first set.
“The second set I played more aggressively and managed to win that 6-4, which was also tough.
“Third set was good tennis. I think I lost a bit of my concentration and maybe should have won it more easily.
“But a win is a win and I am happy I won and got my team up in the tie.”
Australia lead the best-of-five tie 1-0, with the winner progressing to the World Group play-offs in September.
Marinko Matosevic was facing Uzbek No.1 Denis Istomin later on Friday, with Rafter opting against selecting regular spearhead Lleyton Hewitt for the opening day singles.
Uzbekistan are unbeaten in six Davis Cup ties in the remote, north-eastern city