Lucky Tomic survives huge scare

By on June 20, 2013

Bernard Tomic

Bernard Tomic … ‘I thought I’d (already) won the match and took my foot off the pedal.’ Source: GLYN KIRK / AFP

Bernard Tomic says he’s building in confidence for Wimbledon after surviving a huge lapse in concentration to reach the Eastbourne ATP quarter-finals.

Tomic admits he got ahead of himself in blowing a huge lead before grinding out a 6-2 5-7 7-6 (7-4) win over Frenchman Julien Benneteau at the grass-court event on England’s south coast.

After winning his first match in almost two months earlier in the week, the 20-year-old looked to be coasting towards another impressive victory when he raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set.

However Tomic admitted to losing focus as 32nd-ranked Benneteau fought back strongly to claim the second set with the match decided in a tense third-set tiebreak.

“I thought I’d (already) won the match and took my foot off the pedal,” Tomic said.

“Then before you know it, he’s down, he goes for his shots, he’s relaxed and he breaks you.

“Then he gets the firepower to play and from there he started playing ridiculous.

“Some of the volleys he was making were probably some of the best I have ever seen, no doubt about it.

”… Being up a set and 4-1, I should have won it comfortably, but I’m lucky and somehow I pulled it through in the end.

“Obviously I have learned something today, as well, that I need to focus more when I’m winning.”

It is the first time Tomic has posted back-to-back wins since February and, after a year marred by injury, illness and the drama surrounding his father, he’s getting a timely boost a week out from the grass-court grand slam.

“I’m gaining a lot of confidence,” the 2011 Wimbledon quarter-finalist said.

“A match like this in the third set is huge to play, especially before a grand slam.”

Tomic set up a last-eight showdown with either second seed Gilles Simon or British teenager Kyle Edmund.

On a match played on an outside court in warm conditions, Tomic’s father and coach John was again court-side and he stood among spectators.

Although his ATP credentials have been suspending pending an investigation into an alleged assault, he has been allowed to attend the Queen’s and Eastbourne events as a paying spectator.

He was barred from attending the French Open last month and will also be refused entry at Wimbledon next week.

Tomic said he didn’t feel any pain discomfort in his troublesome hamstring during the match, though he did feel it during a round of golf following his first-round win over James Ward.

“I had to stop the golf early,” Tomic said.

“But I didn’t feel it today, which is good.” | Tennis

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