Aussie Teen Tomic Stuns Fish to Take Kooyong
Bernard Tomic won his first senior title at the Kooyong Classic Saturday stunning world number eight Mardy Fish 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 in the final and earning a confidence boost ahead of the Australian Open.
The 19-year-old Australian sensation, who is ranked 37 in the world, again showed his promise, following a run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals last summer and a semi-final loss in Brisbane against Andy Murray last week.
"I've never lifted a trophy before at this level," said Tomic. "I'm proud to have my name on a trophy like this.
"It's a good feeling and one that I'll always treasure. Hopefully this will help me do well at the Australian Open," said the player, who faces experienced Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the first round.
Victory over the Amnerican at the Kooyong Club made Tomic the youngest player to triumph at the event and comes just ahead of the season-opening major, which starts on Monday.
"I want to do as well as I can at the Open. There's a lot of pressure. but maybe once -- perhaps not this year -- I can win that title," he added.
Home favorite Tomic admitted he will need his best game to beat Verdasco but was bullish over his chances of progressing.
"It's a tough start but I'll come in focused and with confidence that can win.
"It's not like playing a major seed in the first round, this is a winnable match."
Tomic showed off his big game during the hour and three-quarters win storming to the first set after taking a 4-0 lead.
But Fish came back, his experience showing in the second set to break the Tomic serve.
The Australian was unfazed and took victory in the third, breaking in the last game to win on the first of two match points.
Earlier Austria's Jurgen Melzer recorded his second upset of a higher ranked opponent in a week to claim third-place honors with a 6-3, 6-7 (10/12), 6-2 win over Gael Monfils.
Fresh from beating French world number six Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on Wednesday, Melzer dispatched Frenchman Monfils, who is ranked 15.
Melzer, placed 33 in the rankings, said he was pleased to have beaten the flamboyant Monfils for the first time in his career.
"It's always tough to play him, he gets so many balls back," said the Austrian. "You think the rally is over but the ball keeps coming back.
"It was great to beat him for the first time, I'm very happy about it."
Monfils faces Australian Marinko Matosevic in the first round, which starts on Monday in Melbourne.
The Frenchman lived up to his reputation for improvised shot-making on Saturday, throwing his racquet at a ball in a desperate -- but successful -- effort to make a return. The shot was ruled good to Melzer's surprise.
"To make a shot like that just shows his talent," said the bemused veteran. Melzer won the first set but was out-hit in the dramatic second as Monfils levelled at a set each on a fifth set point, clawing back three Melzer match points before finally losing.