Tomic wins top-ranked Aussie battle
Bernard Tomic has claimed Australian tennis bragging rights with a convincing victory over No.1-ranked compatriot Marinko Matosevic at the Apia International Sydney on Tuesday night.
The 20-year-old reigned 6-3 6-4 in the much-hyped clash of the top-ranked Australian men to continue his impressive unbeaten start to the summer.
After a disappointing end to 2012, he’s taken no time this summer to get back on the right track.
His victory over Matosevic follows three at the Hopman Cup in Perth, including a stunning straight-sets dispatch of world No.1 Novak Djokovic.
“Hopefully I can keep this tennis up and do better,” he said.
“I think I’m extremely strong now. I played not too bad today. I’m happy with my performance leading in from the Hopman Cup and I can’t ask for anything better.”
Apart from being able to seize back his Australian top ranking if he goes on to win the tournament, Tomic’s immediate reward is a second-round shot at redemption against Florian Mayer on Wednesday.
Mayer clubbed Tomic in straight sets in Australia’s Davis Cup World Group playoff loss in Hamburg last September.
By the time Tomic and Matosevic hit the court for their twilight showdown in Sydney, temperature had dipped somewhat from the scorching 41 degrees it had been earlier on Monday.
The heat was still very much on both players, with pride and the national top ranking on the line at Ken Rosewall Arena.
Tomic made an immediate statement with a big ace down the middle on his opening serve of the match.
The 64th-ranked Tomic had the unheralded world No.49 under the pump as early as the fourth game.
After saving three break points, Matosevic eventually succumbed to the pressure to give Tomic a 3-1 advantage.
It was enough to secure Tomic the opening set.
Tomic claimed the only break of the second set in the fifth game and closed out the contest on his first match point.