Sunday, 24 January 2016

Tomic wins Aussie battle

The two remaining Australians in the men's singles draw featured in the final match in the night session of day six on Rod Laver Arena.  16th seed Bernard Tomic was heavily favoured to defeat 95th ranked John Millman who was enjoying a most successful run, having dismissed Gilles Muller en route to this match.

Millman served first and Tomic broke straight away, taking toll of the relatively slow pace of serve and groundstrokes of the lower ranked Aussie.
A couple of aces and Tomic led 2-0

Millman upped his speed on serve, even delivering an ace on the way to winning his first game.  1-2 Tomic.  A backhand winner down the line by Millman triggered a messy game by Tomic and his errors helped Millman break back for 2-2.

A forehand return winner from Tomic was insufficient to prevent Millman holding another serve and unexpectedly taking a 3-2 lead.  Tomic held comfortably to level at 3-3.

From 15-40 Millman recovered well, an ace and forehand winner assisting.  Tomic had improved and once again was untroubled on serve. 4-4.  Three break points in the next Millman service game, and this time they were too many.  Tomic had a 5-4 lead and served for the set.

Backhand firing, Millman had Tomic concerned at 0-30 before Tomic threw in two aces and finally won the set with a forehand winner.  6-4 to the 16th seed.

Millman continued using his backhand to good effect, holding serve to love, and leading in the second set 1-0.  Tomic was taken to deuce but handled the trip well and held serve for 1-1.

Both players were now hitting their strongest shots well and serves were held easily for 2-2.  Millman only lost the opening point on his way to a 3-2 lead, Tomic looking less interested in that game.

After levelling at 3-3 Tomic stepped it up breaking Millman, a forehand return doing the ultimate damage.  He now assumed the lead 4-3.  

Millman took advantage of Tomic unforced errors to gain two break back chances.  Tomic was able to save one with a backhand winner, but was broken nevertheless and games were once again on serve 4-4.

5-5 after both players survived deuces.  A tiebreaker arrived once the next two games were completed.

Tomic raced to 5-1 in the tie break with two aces the highlight.  Two winners from Millman brought him back to 4-5 but Tomic had serves to come.  He didn't waste the chances and won the tie break 7-4 and the set 7-6.  The lead was 2 sets to love.

In the third set, Tomic survived a break point with Millman hitting winners from both sides to temporarily raise concern. Millman continued to play well, holding on the back of an ace and backhand winner.  

Tomic held well then broke the Millman serve to lead 3-1.  Another strong service game extended the lead to 4-1 and the finish line was close.

Millman served two aces to complete a love game and trail 2-4 but that was it for the valiant 5th ranked Aussie.  Tomic held serve then broke once more to win the match 6-4 7-6 6-2.

A pretty good win for Bernard but he would need a couple of steps up in performance should he hope to win against Andy Murray in the fourth round.

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