Tomic wins battle of Aussies

Bernard Tomic continued his unbeaten start to 2013 and claimed national bragging rights with victory over compatriot Marinko Matosevic in round one of the Sydney International.

Tomic prevailed 6-3 6-4 in the much-hyped clash that pitted together Australia’s highest two ranked men’s players, with Tomic continuing his undefeated record against his higher ranked rival. In an interesting subplot both players had also recently been omitted from the nation’s Davis Cup team for disciplinary reasons.

By the time the players hit the court for their twilight showdown, temperatures had dipped slightly from the excruciating 40 degree heat that was experienced throughout the day. However the heat was still very much on both players with the nation’s top ranking up for grabs.

While Tomic (ranked 64) had beaten Matosevic (ranked 49) in their three previous encounters, this was the first time they had met in an ATP event. Tomic started the match in the best possible way, landing a huge ace down the middle of the court on his opening serve.

The much improved Tomic continued to impose himself on the match and after some sustained pressure on Matosevic in the fourth game, Tomic managed to break serve to jump to a 3-1 lead. The 20-year-old going on to close out the set 6-3.

Tomic kept up the pressure in the second set and claimed it’s only break in the fifth game. Tomic had described himself as much stronger physically and mentally after a gruelling off-season and he was able to go on and secure the match in straight sets.

Tomic will now get a shot at redemption in his second-round clash against German Florian Mayer. Mayer having wiped Tomic in straight sets in Australia’s Davis Cup World Group playoff in Hamburg last September.   

The 20-year-old had swimmer James Magnussen in his box for the duration of the clash and this performance will have surely won him over a few more supporters after an indifferent 2012 that was punctuated with controversy.

After the match Tomic said he was happy with his performance but insisted he still had a lot of improvement in his game.

“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,” he said.

Play continues at the Sydney International this week. If you can’t be courtside at Ken Rosewall Arena make sure you get down to Strathfield Sports Club where you can enjoy all the live action with a beverage in our cool clubhouse.