Bernard Tomic has ranking points to defend in Sydney. Image courtesy of theaustralian.com.au/George Salpigtidis
Bernard Tomic got rid of any rust he had to shed from the off-season in Perth and breezed through his opening round match in Sydney beating Spaniard Marcel Granollers 6-3 6-0 in an easier than expected victory. Tomic has plenty of ranking points to protect here after taking out the title in 2013, and he shouldn’t have any worries progressing to the quarter-finals as he takes on Slovenian Blaz Kavcic in the second round on Wednesday.
Ranked 102nd in the world, Kavcic is far more comfortable on clay than hardcourt, and in 2012, every single match he played at Challenger level or qualifiers was on the red dirt. He has, however, knocked off some relatively talented players to reach this point of the tournament. He accounted for Spanish lefty Albert Ramos in the final round of qualifying, and that form was franked when Ramos, as a lucky loser, went on to beat big-hitting American Sam Querrey in the first round. He then upset Finn Jarkko Niemenen in his opening round encounter, a player who won this event in 2012 and made the final in 2009. It has been a good effort from the 26-year-old who came to Australia after three matches in the sapping heat of Doha in the first week of the year.
While Tomic has managed to lose to plenty of players he should beat in his sleep previously, unlike Sam Stosur, he does seem to revel in the attention he receives in Australia and the pressure on him to perform. A win here would see him take on either second seed, Jerzy Janowicz, or talented Russian Alexandr Dolgopolov, a player he has beaten just once in six meetings.
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