Tomic becomes youngest-ever winner at Australian Open

January 19th, 2009 - 5:18 pm ICT by IANS  

Melbourne, Jan 19 (DPA) Reigning junior champion Bernard Tomic proved himself a rising force at the senior level as a first-round victory Monday made him the youngest male winner of a match at the Australian Open.The 16-year-old whose controversial father has been in trouble with Tennis Australia for outbursts during matches, showed mature form in his first Grand Slam with a 7-6 (7-5), 1-6, 7-6 (7-5), 7-6 (8-6) first-round win over 73rd-ranked Italian Potito Starace.

“It’s a dream come true to win a first round in my first Grand Slam,” said Tomic. “I’m just thrilled that I could pull off a win today. With the crowd behind me, it was an unbelievable experience.”

Aged 16 years 89 days, Tomic is 94 days younger than fellow Australian Todd Woodbridge was when he beat American John Letts in the opening round at Melbourne Park in 1988.

Tomic recovered from breaks in the third and fourth sets for the spectacular win on a solid opening day for home hopes at Melbourne Park.

“I had no nerves going into the match. I was just happy that I could get off to a good start really.”

Other Aussie winners included Brydan Klein, who knocked out German Bjorn Phau 6-4, 6-3, 4-6, 6-3 and Jelena Dokic, who reached the second round over Austrian Tamira Paszek 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

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