Bernard Tomic has become the only Australian to advance into the Brisbane International men’s second round.
Seventh seed Tomic flew the Australian flag, thrashing France’s Nicolas Mahut 6-4 6-3 at Pat Rafter Arena on Tuesday night.
The world No.18 booked a second round clash with former Brisbane champion and Czech veteran Radek Stepanek.
It is a positive start for the former Wimbledon quarter-finalist who aims to crack the world’s top 10 this year.
Tomic, 23, also hopes to make a habit of turning Brisbane success into an Australian Open run.
He made the Brisbane quarter-finals last year, before making his second consecutive Australian Open fourth round appearance.
Tomic is also out to reverse his off court fortunes.
He was suspended for Australia’s home Davis Cup quarter-final against Kazakhstan last year.
The Queenslander also wasn’t not nominated for the Newcombe Medal despite his top 20 ranking, after Tennis Australia tweaked the award to include a “best ambassador” focus alongside performance.
Tomic was broken by world No.71 Mahut to trail 4-3 on Tuesday night but rattled off the next three games to clinch the first set.
He kept his foot on Mahut’s throat, closing out the match in just 69 minutes.
Tomic was the final local hope in the men’s draw after James Duckworth and teenager Oliver Anderson were eliminated in the first round at the Queensland Tennis Centre on Tuesday.
They joined Monday’s casualties Sam Groth, John-Patrick Smith and Ben Mitchell.
It wasn’t pretty viewing for Davis Cup coach Wally Masur who attended the day session on Tuesday.
Wildcard Duckworth began brightly but finally succumbed 3-6 6-4 6-3 to Austrian eighth seed Dominic Thiem.
Croatia’s world No.87 Ivan Dodig took just over an hour to dispatch fellow qualifier Anderson 6-3 6-2.
Dodig takes on big-serving fourth seed Milos Raonic of Canada in the second round.
Other winners on Tuesday included Belgian sixth seed David Goffin, Serbia’s Viktor Troicki, France’s Lucas Pouille and Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan.
World No.65 Kukushkin downed Denis Istomin of Uzbekistan 6-2 7-5 to book a second round clash with second seed Kei Nishikori of Japan.