Melbourne: Australian teenager Bernard Tomic dug deep as he came from two sets down to oust Spanish 22nd seed Fernando Verdasco in a five-set thriller on day one at the Australian Open on Monday.
Tomic, 19, produced his finest performance to overhaul the experienced Spanish left-hander 4-6, 6-7 (3/7), 6-4, 6-2, 7-5 in 4hr 11min on a sweltering Rod Laver Arena.
The world number 38 belied his years in only his third five-set match, while Verdasco was playing in his 24th five-setter.
Verdasco looked on course to wipe Tomic in straight sets, powering through the opening two sets before the Australian broke the Spaniard in the ninth game of the third set to sight a glimmer of hope.
And Tomic grew stronger in the heat, while Verdasco showed more signs of weariness and he took the match into a fifth set.
In a gripping final set Verdasco needed his big serving to fight off Tomic before he was broken in the 11th game, allowing the teenager to serve out for a courageous win.
The epic victory again showcased Tomic's potential after he became the youngest man in 25 years to reach the quarter-finals of last year's Wimbledon before he lost to world number one Novak Djokovic.
In the second round Tomic will play American Sam Querrey, who beat French wild card Kenny de Schepper in straight sets.