"It's good to be back at this level. I played some solid tennis in qualies. I'm happy to be here," the home town guy Bernard Tomic exclaimed smilingly. Tomic won over Japan's Yuichi Sugita in a three setter that the hurting Japanese had to retire.
It was three years the bold and brash Aussie hasn't won the first round of the Australian Open and now it seems the jinx is over. He's had times of not doing well and just wanting to throw in the sweaty towel, but now there's a turn around and he's glad for it.
There was a few things going Tomic's way this time around. For one: his girlfriend Vanessa Sierra. "My girlfriend's coaching me actually...She's just helping me with a few things," he said confidently about three weeks ago.
He's seen his luck turn around miraculously and he's liking the change greatly. He's professed to having won 8 out of 10 matches and five out of six UTRs before even qualifying." They were all three-setters," he exclaimed and felt revved up coming into the Melbourne slam.
He smiled with glee saying about his new coaching person, "I'm not going to give out my tips...Mate, it's a secret."
1st set wasn't the lucky one as Tomic came in nervous, losing to Sugita 3-6
The Aussie was having trouble finding momentum and rhythm as he splattered 19 unforced errors.
But the Japanese started having movement issues and showed pain and discomfort after the opening set win. A trainer was called and his midriff was taped. Tomic used the situation to become more dominant and won nine straight games.
He was sizzling and then won the 2nd set 6-1. After that things went downhill for Sugita who had to retire as he trailed in the third set 1-4. This gave Tomic the opening match victory, one that he hadn't accomplished in several years.
The Aussie also had his father in the stands to support him, a rarity being that there were plenty of 'dust ups' between organizers and also his son, that John Tomic at periods was forbidden to be in the stands.
This was a different occasion that was all good and in Bernard Tomic's favor, "..It was nice to have him there for sure," he'd said being honest. Tomic has seen his ranking at the bottom of the 200s, but with this win he'll experience a rise of 27 points.
All Tomic could say without jinxing the magic is "It's good. It's a great feeling..." He now moves through to the 2nd round of the Melbourne slam feeling very confident he'll do well and perhaps go deep into the tournament he hasn't done well in for such a long time.