Bernie blasts past Blake

By on June 27, 2013

Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic … cruises past former world No. 4 James Blake. Source: Sang Tan / AAP

Revelling in perfect conditions, Bernard Tomic has blasted into Wimbledon’s third round with a stylish win over American veteran James Blake.

Forced to retire from doubles because of a hamstring strain less than 24 hours before facing Blake, Tomic could scarcely have been more impressive.

The Gold Coaster’s deserved 6-3 6-4, 7-5 success over former world No 4 Blake earned him a tilt at either French ninth seed Richard Gasquet or Japan’s Go Soeda.

Delivering another clean, virtually error-free performance, Tomic again demonstrated a natural affinity with grass.

The Queenslander served and returned at a consistently high level, moved well and maintained concentration.

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He produced 32 winners and 12 unforced errors to reach the third round for the second time in his short career.

Showing no sign of the hamstring injury which had dogged him since the French Open in Paris, Tomic quickly set about dissecting Blake’s solid game.

Breaking serve in the fourth game, Tomic soon turned the match into a grasscourt masterclass.

Pocketing the first set after 28 minutes with a beguiling mix of angles and pace changes, Tomic maintained the offensive with another service break in the opening game of the second set.

Blake dug into climb back on even terms with a forehand volley winner to break in the eighth game, only to immediately lose the gain.

Growing in confidence with every rally, Tomic served out the second set – and then put Blake to the sword.

Preying on the veteran’s fading resistance, Tomic continued to punish the tiring American and was rewarded when Blake wearily netted a forehand.

Tomic stumbled when he first attempted to close out the match as Blake delayed the inevitable with a pair of massive forehand winners to break back.

Unperturbed, Tomic grabbed another break in the following game before sealing the match after 97 minutes.

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Italian Fabio Fognini has been fined $ US10,000 for unsportsmanlike behaviour in his first round loss to Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

Fognini repeatedly threw his racquet and swore regularly at chair umpire Pascal Maria who, at one stage, broke into laughter as the firebrand baseliner lost composure.

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French veteran Michael Llodra retired with an unspecified injury when trailing Italian Andreas Seppi 7-5. His retirement follows a record seven retirements and walkovers on Wednesday.

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Lleyton Hewitt bowed out of doubles with veteran Mark Knowles. The pair, who are neighbours in the Bahamas, lost 6-3 7-5 7-6 (7-4) to Perth’s Matt Ebden and Briton Jamie Delgado. | Tennis

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