Melbourne, 18 January 2011 | AAP

Teenage star Bernard Tomic claimed the biggest scalp of his burgeoning career on Tuesday to reach the Australian Open second round for the third successive year.

Tomic, a wildcard entry into the season-opening Grand Slam event, gunned down world No.44 Jeremy Chardy 6-3 6-2 7-6 (7-5) in one hour, 48 minutes at Melbourne Park’s Hisense Arena.

Playing at a career-high world No.199, Tomic was much too classy for his more-experienced French opponent, breaking Chardy three times and not dropping his own once serve during the entire match.

Australia’s two-time junior Grand Slam champion unveiled a vastly-improved serve, recording a fastest delivery of 201kph, to impressively book a second-round date on Thursday with either Spanish No.31 seed Feliciano Lopez or Colombian Alejandro Falla.

“It is the greatest feeling just to play in this tournament,” a jubilant Tomic said.

“It got a bit scary in the third, but I’m glad I pulled it off in three. Anything could have happened in that fourth set.”

Tomic was in control from virtually start to finish, calmly fighting off two set points in the third set, before clinching the tiebreaker with a scorching backhand cross-court pass.

One more win would likely pit Tomic into a blockbuster third-round clash with world No.1 Rafael Nadal.

Earlier, fellow Australian wildcard Sally Peers lost her first-round women’s match 6-2 6-4 to Czech 25th seed Petra Kvitova, a Wimbledon semi-finalist last year and the winner of the season-opening Brisbane International.