Tomic saves four match points to take Chengdu title
Bernard Tomic has capped a remarkable week that began in qualifying at the ATP Chengdu Open, saving four championship points against Fabio Fognini to win a thrilling final.
There were fist pumps, furious dropshot chases and four match points saved as Australian Bernard Tomic claimed a stunning first ATP tournament victory in three years at China’s Chengdu Open.
The 25-year-old dug deep to snatch a brave 6-1 3-6 7-6(7) win over world No.13 Fabio Fognini on Sunday.
He hadn’t played someone ranked as high as Fognini in a year – let alone claimed a win against such player.
But Tomic finished off an long week in fighting style.
Coming into the tournament as a qualifier ranked 123rd in the world, Tomic won seven consecutive matches to take out the title.
Back in business 💥🏆
— Tennis TV (@TennisTV) September 30, 2018
“I think all week I was lucky,” Tomic said.
“I was supposed to lose in the qualifying in the second round to (Egor) Gerasimov, I was down 3-0, 4-0 in the tiebreak third set. I was down (on) Centre Court here first round (against Bradley Klahn). I was down match points in the second round (to Lloyd Harris). I saved like I don’t know how many match points this week.
“I played really well the whole week – I’m so happy I won.”
He’s projected to rise to around No.77 in the world and looks to have safely secured automatic entry to next year’s Australian Open, a tournament he failed to qualify for in 2018.
A major outsider against the top-seeded Italian, Tomic consistently frustrated his opponent with excellent ball placement and a willingness to stay in points.
Tomic raced through the first set 6-1 before the Italian found his feet in the second to level the match.
The third set became an arm wrestle: Fognini breaking to start the decider before Tomic won the next three games. Fognini then levelled again.
— doublefault28 (@doublefault28) September 30, 2018
From there the match stayed on serve with Fognini seemingly grabbing control of the tiebreak when up 6-3 on serve.
But he double faulted on his first match point, and missed his second when a Tomic forehand clipped the tape and died on Frgnini’s side of the net. Back on serve, Tomic erased the third match point with an ace out wide.
Fognini earned a fourth match point when Tomic ended a long rally with a backhand error, but lost that one too when he played a forehand well long of the baseline.
Two points later, the Aussie struck an inside-out forehand winner and collapsed to the court after clinching his first ATP title since Bogota in July 2015.
Tomic finished the match with 12 aces, and by winning a third-set tiebreak Tomic took his 2018 tiebreak record to an incredible 20-4.