Bernard Tomic has struggled most of 2013. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/George Salpigtidis
After starting the season so positively with a win in Sydney, Bernard Tomic heads to the final Masters event of the year with an ordinary 2013 almost behind him. The good news is, as the fourth seed in qualifying, he has managed to make the main draw in Paris and has a golden opportunity to move through to the second round and a match-up with Stanlislas Wawrinka when he takes on Spanish veteran Feliciano Lopez on Monday night (AEST).
Tomic survived the opening round of qualifying, eventually getting past big-serving Croat Ivo Karlovic in a pair of tie-breakers . It was a good win over the 34-year-old, who came in to this event on the back of a win over Tomas Berdych in Basel last week. He then required three sets to topple Pablo Correno-Busta, an up-and-comer who has had his first big breakthroughs on clay this year, but has little in the way of experience and results on indoor hardcourt.
Tomic retired in Valencia last week in his opening match against Mikhail Youzhny late in the third set, the day after he celebrated his 21st birthday. Tomic had Youzhny in trouble and had opportunities to win the match in the second set, but the Russian fought through and eventually took out the title with victory over David Ferrer in the final. It was the Australia’s third first round exit in a row.
Lopez made the quarters indoors in Bangkok a fortnight back, but he was unceremoniously dumped from the event in Valencia last week 6-3 6-1 by Julien Benneteau. He made the final in Memphis earlier this year on an indoor hardcourt going down to Kei Nishikori in the decider.
These two have faced each other twice with Tomic taking out their clash at his home Grand Slam in 2011 in straight sets before Lopez returned serve with a 6-4 6-2 win on clay in Munich last year. Tomic is unbeaten against left-handers this year with a 5-0 record but he is just 4-6 across the rest of his career.
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