Tomic downs Monfils to reach final of Kooyong Classic

Updated: 12 January 2012 19:04 IST

Teenage Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic beat France's Gael Monfils 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2) Thursday to book a place in the final of the Kooyong Classic, a warm-up event ahead of the Australian Open.

Tomic downs Monfils to reach final of Kooyong Classic

Melbourne:

Teenage Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic beat France's Gael Monfils 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (7/2) Thursday to book a place in the final of the Kooyong Classic, a warm-up event ahead of the Australian Open.


The 19-year-old, who is tipped to fill the shoes of ageing compatriot Lleyton Hewitt, will face the winner of the other semi-final between American Mardy Fish and Austrian Jurgen Melzer.

"I'm getting confidence this week for the Open and hope to carry it through," said the world number 37 from Queensland, who on Wednesday also claimed victory over top-ten ranked Czech Tomas Berdych.

The teenager last year became the youngest man to reach the Wimbledon quarter-finals since Boris Becker in 1986, and has made a strong start in 2012, reaching last week's Brisbane semis before losing to Britain's Andy Murray.

"We came here for a good week and that's what I'm having," he said.

Monfils, the world number 15, said he was troubled by a recurrent knee problem and the changing weather added to his discomfort.

"I need to take care of my knee all of the time, I can hurt it with my movement," the Frenchman said.

"It was also cold at the start and then hot and my knee doesn't really like that."

Meanwhile, last minute stand-in Kei Nishikori upset Frenchman Jo Wilfried Tsonga 1-6, 6-4, 6-1.

Tsonga, who arrived from Doha after winning the Qatar Open, later withdrew citing exhaustion -- the second man after Canadian Milos Raonic to leave the event.

Raonic, who won the Chennai Open on Sunday, withdrew citing a stomach bug.

Nishikori, whose 26th ranking makes him Japan's best male prospect in years, was drafted into the eight-man field at the four-day invitational event to replace Raonic.

Three-time champion Andy Roddick was relieved after he managed a comeback from one set down and a tense second-set tiebreak against Tomas Berdych, eventually winning through 4-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3.

"I need matches," said the American. "I have had a long off-season, I was pretty banged up after 2011. I gave it a go today and got better as the match went on."

Officials at the Kooyong Classic have also lined up exhibition matches on Friday between American Sam Querrey and Serb Viktor Troicki, and Andy Murray against Argentina's David Nalbandian.



Topics : Tennis Bernard Tomic Gael Monfils
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