Bernard Tomic has eased into the second round of the Sydney International after an empathic straight sets win over Igor Sijsling.
The Aussie dropped just three games against his Dutch counterpart in the 6-1, 6-2 result, renewing hopes of a strong showing at this year’s Australian Open.
The 22-year-old was disappointing in last week’s Brisbane International but returned to form on Tuesday night, with the win coming in just 43 minutes.
“If I can just remain inside the top 50 or push higher, after the Australian Open this is going to be huge for me. Then in six months I can push forward for the top 15, even 20,” said Tomic after the match.
“For me, it’s about winning tournaments. But the bottom line is this year making as many points as I can and winning as many matches as I can and staying as consistent as I can.”
Sydney is proving to be a happy hunting ground for the world No.71 having been crowned champion in 2013 and making last year’s final.
“I love playing in Sydney. One of the nicest tournaments for me,” said Tomic. “It just makes my play my best tennis.
“I think I’ll probably be the fittest now only because I’m moving a lot better and feeling better with my hips. I have greater range of movement and mobility.”
Tomic had lost his only previous encounter with Sijsling but put in a much improved performance compared to his loss against Kei Nishikori in Brisbane last week.
The firebrand will now face 24th ranked German Philipp Kohlschreiber in the second round, as he seeks to claim a third career title ahead of the year’s first grand slam.
The news was not so great for Aussie compatriots Nick Kyrgios and Sam Stosur who were both knocked out of the Sydney International in their respective first and second round matches.
Australia’s highest ranked men’s and women’s players both admitted they’ll head to Melbourne Park under-prepared and will be eagerly awaiting the results of today’s tournament draw.