Bernard Tomic’s roller-coaster year hit a much needed high this week, the young Aussie claiming the Claro Open in Colombia with a three-set win over Ivo Karlovic.
Tomic withstood a barrage of aces from the tournament’s second seed as he was able to take the match 7-6 3-6 7-6 in a little over two hours to register his second career title.
The win ended a turbulent week for the world No.124, after his contract with global management firm IMG was terminated just days prior to the final.
“For me it was a difficult match,” said Tomic. “I kept trying and believing in myself.
“Against him (Karlovic), if you stop believing and trying, he will beat you.
“It’s my first tournament on hard courts since my surgeries in Australia, so this title is huge and it’s one I will always remember.”
The result is set to see Tomic surge in the rankings and also bodes well for his chances of earning a wildcard entry into next month’s US Open.
It is the 21-year-old’s first ATP title win overseas, following his breakthrough win at last year’s Sydney International and also came with a six-figure pay-check.
Having again reached the final in Sydney this year, Tomic has since endured a difficult time in 2014. It began when he suffered a hip injury which saw him retire from his first round match against Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open.
Tomic subsequently broke the record for the shortest match in ATP history with a comprehensive loss to Jarkko Nieminen at the Miami Masters on his return.
He exited his next seven tournaments in the first or second round leaving many to question Tomic’s desire but his latest result has him back on track and could see his ranking rise by as much as 50 places.
The good news continued for Australia in the doubles final in Colombia, with Samuel Groth and Chris Guccione defeating local duo Nicolas Barrientos and Juan Sebastian Cabal 7-6 6-7 9-11.
Meanwhile for Karlovic the loss represented the second time in a week he’d lost to an Aussie in a tour final, the Croat having also gone down to Lleyton Hewitt in Newport.