Bernard Tomic has defeated fellow Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis 7-6 (2) 6-1 at the second round of the Brisbane International to set up a quarterfinals matchup with US Open finalist Kei Nishikori.
With crowd support firmly in his favour, the younger Kokkinakis got off to an impressive start, matching Tomic with his serve and quality ground stroke. But he came unstuck as the set went on, allowing Tomic to nab the tiebreak after 53 minutes following a costly double fault.
In the second set, the 18-year-old let slip of the composure exhibited in the opening set, allowing the more experienced Tomic to take the first break for a 3-1 lead, soon after running out with the double break and the chance to serve for the match. Fittingly, Tomic iced the victory with an ace to finish off a dominant second set showing.
“For sure not an easy match and it was expected of me to win this match and I had to prepare a lot,” Tomic told the Seven Network broadcast after the win.
“It’s not easy playing someone young and I remember myself when I was young and playing well and aggressive. I was happy to come out on court to play the way I played. Job done, so very happy.”
Tomic powered his way between the slide lines effortlessly, showing the type of mobility that wasn’t always on display during 2014’s injury impacted run.
“I think I’ve improved a lot in my movement and going through two hip surgeries and missing the first six months of the tour. I’m happy the way I’m moving and I can’t complain.”
Kokkinakis took out world No.25 Julien Benneteau in the opening round and is considered one of Australia’s brightest talents alongside friend Nick Kyrgios.
“We’re similar,” Tomic said of Kokkinakis. “Maybe a few years ahead I am, but he has a bright future and I wish him the best. He has to stay positive and I’m sure he’ll do well.”
Photo: Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images.