Tomic Wins 1st ATP Title in Sydney, Ferrer Rolls Again in Auckland
The talk of Australian sports this week has to be Bernard Tomic, who captured his first career ATP title 6-3 6-7 6-3 over Kevin Anderson. Tomic was able to fend off the South African’s big serve and forehand, along with moving well and mixing up his shots enough to frustrate Anderson’s attempts at being aggressive, while holding his own serve without tremendous difficulty.
To set the tone for the match he broke to start off the first set, then traded holds the rest of the way, traded holds again in the second set only to lose the eventual tiebreak, but then broke again in the third to seal the match.
In previous rounds the 20 year old Aussie beat countryman Marinko Matosevic, Florian Mayer, defending champ Jarkko Nieminen in 3 sets, and Andreas Seppi in the semis. Against Seppi, Tomic struggled with the scorching hot daytime conditions and repeatedly looked like he was ill. At the end of the 1st set he was even dealing with dizziness, but he fought through and came up with some tremendous shotmaking for a 7-6 6-4 win.
Anderson will be pleased with his run to the finals in which he beat Aljaz Bedene in 3 sets, Feliciano Lopez and Denis Istomin in straights. He followed that up by coming from a set down to beat Julien Benneteau in the semis.
He seems rejuvenated in the early part of 2012.
In the doubles, the Bryan Brothers won yet another doubles title in preparation for the AO beating Max Mirnyi and Horia Tecau.
Lleyton Hewitt took the title in the exhibition Kooyong classic just outside of Melbourne with a surprising win over Juan Martin Del Potro 6-1 6-4 in the final. The tournament was beset by withdraws and in and out participation by various players, but still featured some enjoyable tennis. Hewitt notched wins over Milos Raonic and Tomas Berdych earlier in the week, while Del Potro beat Paul-Henri Mathieu and Marcos Baghdatis.
They might as well make David Ferrer an honorary Kiwi , as he claimed his fourth Auckland title 7-6 6-1 over Phillip Kohlschreiber, who also continued his streak of quality play in Auckland. Ferrer and Kohlschreiber traded breaks in the opening set and Kohlschreiber even had some set points, but he could not convert them and Ferrer fought his way to a tiebreak and edged it out. In the second set, the level of play dropped precipitously on the part of Kohlschreiber and Ferrer raced out to the easy straight set win.
Previously, Ferrer beat Yen-Hsun Lu in 3 sets, Lukas Lacko in straights and demolished a gimpy Gael Monfils 6-1 6-2 to make the final.
Kohlschreiber worked his way through Alejandro Falla, Xaiver Malisse and Sam Querrey.
In the doubles, it was an emotional moment for Colin Fleming as he took the title with his temporary partner Bruno Soares, 7-6 7-6, over John Brunstrom and Freddie Nielsen.
Fleming’s usual doubles partner Ross Hutchins announced earlier this month that he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma during the offseason and is undergoing treatment. The tennis world has responded in support, with Andy Murray dedicating his Brisbane win to Ross, and Fleming and Soares doing the same.
Here at Tennis East Coast, we also want to do the same. We’re wishing Ross, one of the nicest guys around, the best of luck and all the support we can give as he battles cancer. Like many of you, I had the pleasure of meeting him in Atlanta along with Colin. We can’t wait to see him return the courts and start winning matches again, serving as an inspiration to us all.