Juan Martin del Potro def. Bernard Tomic 6-3, 6-1
Australian Open: Men's preview
Linda Pearce and Scott Spits preview the men's competition at the Australian Open 2014. Who will win and how will the Aussies fare after a horror draw?PT4M34S http://www.canberratimes.com.au/action/externalEmbeddedPlayer?id=d-30me6 620 349 January 10, 2014
Bernard Tomic’s mental resolve will again come under fire after the world No.52 put in a below-par performance to lose his Sydney International title 6-3, 6-1 to Juan Martin del Potro in less than a hour.
Tomic did little to endear himself to a parochial home crowd with an uninspiring effort, barely testing the world No.5 who cruised to victory in 53 minutes in what was the shortest final in Sydney in terms of games played since 2000.
It was a limp defence of Tomic’s only career title and well short of the performance he produced to beat world No.20 Kevin Anderson last year. Tomic had impressed in the earlier rounds of the tournament with good wins against the likes of Sergiy Stakhovsky, Alexandr Dolgopolov and Blaz Kavcic to move to the final but his effort on Saturday night was anything but impressive.
Down and out: Bernard Tomic. Photo: Anthony Johnson
After holding his opening three service games, Tomic managed to win one more game, the first time he served in the second set. He was broken at 3-3 in the opening set and never recovered. Now he faces a stiffer test – a match-up against world No.1 Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open on Tuesday night.
Tomic said he would leave for Melbourne on Sunday. ‘‘It’s going to be an amazing match,’’ he said. ‘‘It’s a tough ask. I wanted to win this championship but Juan played too good. Now my focus is on playing Rafa. I’m playing a legend. Unfortunately I have to play him in the first round. I’m going to bring it to him. The odds aren’t in my favour. I’m happy with the way I competed [against del Potro] but I got killed.’’
Del Potro – who became the first top-ranked seed since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005 to win the title – needed just one of his two set points to again break Tomic’s serve to claim the opening set. The second set mirrored the opener, with Tomic unable to compose himself after he again gave up his serve early in the set. Del Potro said he was impressed with his own performance.
Sydney International Tennis - Day 7
Bernard Tomic thunders a serve down. Photo: Anthony Johnson
‘‘Finals are never easy but I was surprised by my level,’’ he said. ‘‘I thought I played great. I made a lot of winners. Every long, running rally we played I won all of them.
‘‘I think he was a little frustrated after seeing me very focused on the match and hitting the ball so well. He is still young in some moments of the match. He has everything to win titles and will reach finals very soon.’’
The former US Open champion broke with the score at 2-1 in the second set, with the fourth game of the second set going to deuce before the Argentine held his own serve before breaking Tomic to love. With eight aces, the taller Del Potro looked sharp in perfect conditions.
Juan Martin Del Potro with the trophy. Photo: Anthony Johnson