‘I should have lost,’ says Tomic
Posted on 01/24/19 6:22 PM
Bernard Tomic was in no mood to celebrate his first ATP main draw victory in almost five months at Queen’s Club in London.
Tomic opened his grass court campaign with a 6-4 3-6 7-5 first-round win over American Tim Smyczek on Monday but it was hardly the confidence-boosting performance he was looking for.
Smyczek, ranked 106th, rallied back to serve for the match at 5-4 in the third set, only to tighten up as Tomic won 12 of the next 13 points to escape with victory.
“I should have lost that,” Tomic said.
“It was good to win but very rarely you’re going to get out of a match like that when a guy is serving at 5-4 in the third set.
“I guess I played the right two, three points, which is funny.
“Tennis, you can play like crap for the whole two sets and then you can find three, four points and you can win the match. It’s just strange.”
It was Tomic’s first main draw win since reaching the Sydney ATP final in January.
The 21-year-old has struggled to regain his form following two bouts of hip surgery in February, with his ranking plummeting to No.82.
He was easily beaten by Frenchman Richard Gasquet in the first round at the French Open but Tomic, who reached the last 16 at Wimbledon last year, is now back on his favourite surface.
On paper, a match-up against the lower-ranked Smyczek looked a perfect opportunity to get things going but Tomic made hard work of it on a hot London day.
With his controversial father and coach watching on from the front row, Tomic served strongly to take a one-set lead after just 28 minutes.
However, a concentration lapse allowed Smyczek back into the match and the American squared up the match with minimal fuss.
Despite starting strongly in the deciding set, Tomic looked to become increasingly agitated, shaking his head, laughing at lines calls and talking to himself in Croatian.
Smyczek broke Tomic to love late in the final set but the Australian effortlessly won the next three games to secure victory in one hour and 33 minutes.
“It’s not easy making the switch (from clay to grass), so regardless of what happened today, I think it was just good to get on the court and play a good, solid 90 minutes,” Tomic said.
Tomic will face either Czech 15th seed Radek Stepanek or Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Kukushkin on Wednesday.