Bernard Tomic impresses Nick Kyrgios ahead of Australian Open in Kooyong Classic win

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January 09, 2019 15:48:40

Nick Kyrgios is hopeful Bernard Tomic has turned the corner in his tennis career after going down to his fellow Australian in straight sets at the Kooyong Classic in Melbourne.

Key Points:

  • Bernard Tomic defeated Nick Kyrgios in their maiden encounter
  • Tomic is looking to redeem himself after failing to qualify for last year’s Australian Open
  • He finished 2018 inside the top 100 on the ATP Tour rankings

Squaring off for the first time in their careers as they prepare for next week’s Australian Open, Tomic dominated his higher-ranked opponent to win 6-3 6-4, sealing the exhibition match with a sneaky trick serve between his legs.

While bouncing a ball in preparation for a regular serve, Tomic flicked another ball between his legs that landed over the net and won the match, leaving Kyrgios laughing and shaking his head.

Kyrgios said he was happy to see the 85th-ranked Tomic back in form after missing the Australian Open last year when his ranking plummeted.

“I don’t think there has ever been a player like BT,” Kyrgios told SBS after the match.

“It is great to see him back out here as I know he was going through some rough times.

“He won a title last year and it looks like he is carrying a bit of momentum, which is good to see.”

Tomic failed to qualify for last year’s Australian Open, before copping a barrage of criticism when he said was only concerned with making money.

“I just count money, that’s all I do. I count my millions,” Tomic told the media last January.

His career, not for the first time, seemed to be on the ropes but he rebounded admirably last year to climb his way back inside the top 100, largely thanks to winning the Chengdu ATP Tour event.

The maiden clash between Tomic and Kyrgios was much anticipated, although Australian Olympian Georgie Parker was among those less than impressed with the exhibition put on at Kooyong.

Tomic’s first set was almost flawless, while Kyrgios, who has slipped to number 51 in the world, looked a little underdone and struggled to find some rhythm early on.

With his silky hands in superb touch, Tomic broke for a 3-1 lead and then steamed through the first set.

Kyrgios, who lost in the second round in Brisbane last week, had a break-point early in the second but was unable to consolidate with Tomic then breaking at 3-3.

Meanwhile, Alex de Minaur has cut down the equal-tallest man in professional tennis to move into the Sydney International quarter-finals for a second straight year.

In a match suspended on Tuesday night after just one game, de Minaur returned to Ken Rosewall Arena 14 hours later to carve out a hard-earned 6-4, 7-6 (7-4) victory over towering American qualifier Reilly Opelka, who stands at 211 centimetres tall.

AAP/ABC

Topics:

tennis,

australian-open,

sport,

kooyong-3144





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