Former world No. 17 Bernard Tomic was made to work heavily in his Aix-en-Provence opener as he was a point away from picking up yet another loss but showed some fighting spirit, resilience, and toughness to stay alive in the tournament.
Tomic, now ranked at No. 243, scraped past wildcard Geoffrey Blancaneaux 6-4 2-6 7-5 after two hours and 13 minutes of play. The Australian blew two break points early on in the second set before the 2016 French Open boys' singles champion broke him twice to force a decider.
World No. 315 Blancaneaux continued his run in the third set when he broke Tomic to open up a 5-2 lead. Tomic blew three break points in the ninth game and then saved a match point in the same game before he converted his fourth break point to reduce the deficit to 5-4.
The Australian was also 30-0 down in the 10th game before he went on to win that game and the following two and edge the Frenchman in a tight encounter. It was Tomic's first win since January -- when he beat American Tommy Paul in the Australian Open qualifying second round.
Tomic, who is not a stranger to tanking matches and showing disinterest at times on the court, this time refused to simply give up as he came up big when it all seemed to be falling apart for him on the court. Also, the Australian was coming off a disappointing Istanbul first-round loss as he failed to serve out for the match against Serb Viktor Troicki a week ago.
Tomic's career has been on the downhill since the beginning of the 2017 season but now he could be ready to get back where he was once. The three-time ATP champion claimed earlier this year that he's eager to prove the doubters wrong and get back to where he once was.
The way in which Tomic won his first match in a month could be the spark that he needed as he left it all on the court in order to avoid the loss. Tomic is due to face next world No. 363 Johan Tatlot. It remains to be seen will the win over Blancaneaux lead Tomic to much greater success.