Bernard Tomic will look to continue his strong Australian Open summer when he faces fellow aussie Marinko Matosevic in the first round of the Apia International tonight. Join us for live scores and commentary from 6:00pm AEST
Tomic approaches the 2013 Sydney International on the back of a superb performance at the Hopman Cup in Perth, winning all three of his singles matches against Tommy Haas, Novak Djokovic and Andreas Seppi.
However, none of the preceding victories rewarded Tomic with any ATP points, so in reality, the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist has yet to play a competitive match in 2013.
That changes tonight as Tomic aims to defeat Australia’s highest ranked player on the ATP tour in a bid to really kick-start his Australian Open summer.
Despite not commanding the same fanfare as Tomic, Matosevic experienced his best season on the ATP tour in 2012, finishing inside the top 50 of the ATP rankings while also being named the ATP tour’s most improved player.
The Croatian born Australian went close to winning his maiden ATP tour title last year, making the final of the Delray Beach International Tennis Championships where he lost to South African Kevin Anderson.
After making his maiden ATP tour final last season, Matosevic will fancy his chances of going one better in Sydney, even if he has to eliminate Australia’s best young talent in the process.
Tomic’s unorthodox style of play frustrates even the best players on the ATP tour and he will look to unsettle Matosevic early by playing extended rallies and a lot of slices.
Matosevic on the other hand will rely on his big serve and forehand to get on top of Tomic’s game, and if he fires, Tomic may struggle to contain his fellow compatriot.
Overall, Tomic at his best possesses enough class to defeat Matosevic, but given that this is his first competitive match of the season, expect Australia’s great hope to toil his way through a tough three setter.
Tomic in three sets.