Former world No. 17 Bernard Tomic claimed his first win at Melbourne Park since 2017 after Japan's Yuichi Sugita retired him their first round clash. Tomic, now ranked at No. 233 in the world, was up 3-6 6-1 4-1 when Sugita retired the match due to an injury.
"I played very, very bad in the first set. Kind of was a little bit nervous, it was windy, it was cold. It was a pretty bad first set,” Tomic said, per Tennis Australia. “Second and third was some of the best tennis I have played in a while”.
After losing the opening set, Tomic dominated the rest of the match. “It’s a great feeling. Am I overly excited? Probably not. (But) it’s good to be back, I guess, at this level,” Tomic said. “(I) played some solid tennis in qualies.
I’m happy to be here”. “It was a tricky match. I didn’t start very well. I got broken my first two service games. But then I sorted of found a bit more of a rhythm as the match went on,” Duckworth said.
Tomic wins his first Grand Slam match since Wimbledon 2018
Tomic is now set for a tough second round match as he faces next either Jannik Sinner or Denis Shapovalov. Meanwhile, Tomic's fellow compatriot James Duckworth also made a winning start to his Australian Open campaign as he saw off Bosnian Damir Dzumhur in straight sets 6-3 6-2 6-4.
“(I) started playing a bit better throughout that second set and was able to get a break in the third and hold on. Probably not my best match, but happy to be through," Duckworth said. Duckworth, who has a history of health issues, plays next against rising Canadian star Felix Auger-Aliassime.
“I definitely appreciate being healthy, playing these events and winning matches like these a lot more after going through those rough periods,” Duckworth said.