Bernard Tomic has overcome world No.20 Kevin Anderson, London’s fickle weather and the odd crying baby to kick-start his Wimbledon warm-up with a first-round win at the Queen’s Club.
In addition to drawing last year’s runner-up in his opening clash, Tomic was forced to deal with the unique delights of playing on one of the smallest courts at the Queen’s Club as organisers battled to stay on schedule despite losing almost all of Monday to rain.
Playing on Court Two – which doesn’t have a stand and has just a few benches lining the court – brings with it it’s own distractions.
Crying babies, loud phone conversations, loud announcements from nearby courts and even fans being ushered away as they lit up cigarettes while courtside were all potential disturbances which could’ve thrown Tomic off his game.
But the world No.22 sizzled as he showcased his grasscourt game following a lacklustre claycourt season to defeat Anderson 6-3 6-4 in 58 minutes.
“This tournament is a great tournament but it’s a little bit tough in that situation because you’ve got calls coming from everywhere and you have to try and focus,” Tomic said when asked about the distractions.
“This is my first time playing on court two … It’s very tough, that situation, because you can see centre court there right in front of you.
“You can see other court’s scores and you’ve just got to focus on your match.”
The victory continued Tomic’s dominance of Anderson at ATP level, improving his head-to-head record to 4-0 over the towering South African.
Looking far more assured on his preferred grass of London than he did throughout the claycourt season, Tomic took the first set in quick time after racing to a 3-0 lead.
Tomic was broken early in the second set, and admitted he thought he’d lost the second set after going down 1-4.
But the talented 23-year-old recovered to win the final five games of the match – including two breaks of Anderson’s enormous serve – and set up a second round fixture with Spain’s Fernarndo Verdasco, who upset second seed Stan Wawrinka.
“I’m very, very happy because I thought I lost that second set and I was already getting ready for the third,” he said.
Tomic holds a 3-1 head-to-head record over Verdasco, having won the previous three clashes between the pair.