Cilic Survives In Five Over Janowicz
Tomic also advances on Monday in Melbourne
Seventh seed Marin Cilic fended off a stern opening round test from former Top 15 player Jerzy Janowicz on Monday at the Australian Open in Melbourne, rallying from two sets down to prevail 4-6, 4-6, 6-2, 6-2, 6-3 on Show Court 2.
Both players produced an extraordinarily high level of tennis in the first two sets, with Janowicz hitting 23 winners and just nine unforced errors, while Cilic struck 27 winners and only 15 unforced errors. The Polish player required just a single break of serve late in each set to take a commanding two-sets lead.
But while Cilic was able to keep up his top form, Janowicz saw his level drop slightly. Cilic took full advantage of the opening, hammering down 40 winners to just 14 unforced errors in the final three sets. Cilic didn’t face a break point from the third set on, but broke his opponent five times en route to wrapping up the win in three hours and four minutes.
Next up for Cilic will be Daniel Evans, the runner-up at last week’s Apia International Sydney (l. to Muller), who won 83 per cent of his first service points and 14 aces to defeat Facundo Bagnis 7-6(8), 6-3, 6-1 in one hour and 55 minutes.
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the No. 12 seed and 2008 finalist, fired down 20 aces to beat Thiago Monteiro 6-1, 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-2 in two hours and 23 minutes. He goes on to face Dusan Lajovic, who overcame Stephane Robert 6-3, 6-3, 6-3.
Last week’s ASB Classic titlist, Jack Sock, who is competing in Melbourne at a career-high No. 20 in the Emirates ATP Rankings, knocked out Pierre-Hugues Herbert 6-4, 7-6(4), 6-3. He next challenges #NextGenATP Karen Khachanov, who scored a four-set victory over Adrian Mannarino.
Bernard Tomic, the No. 27 seed, delighted the local crowd on Margaret Court Arena with a convincing 6-2, 6-1, 6-4 win over Thomaz Bellucci. The Aussie didn’t drop serve in the match and won 89 per cent of his first serve points, cruising to victory in just one hour and 37 minutes.
”It was a good match for me,” said Tomic. “I was working hard when everybody was saying I wasn't ready and not fit… It was hot, but I was trying to focus on what I needed to do. It was a very, very quality match from a tough opponent in the first round… I played probably at 60 to 70 per cent. But it just shows you how capable I am of playing well.”
Tomic will now play Victor Estrella Burgos, a four-set winner on Monday over Aljaz Bedene. Tomic leads their FedEx ATP Head2Head rivalry 1-0, but they haven’t faced each other in more than two years.