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Tomic savours first win on clay

sports Updated: Apr 17, 2012 01:54 IST
Reuters
Bernard Tomic

Australian teenager Bernard Tomic unleashed his new-found claycourt tactics on Monday as he chalked up his first ever win on red dirt to reach the second round of the Monte Carlo Masters.

The 19-year-old, who has been tipped to join Australia's long line of grand slam champions since making his ATP debut in January 2009, beat Uzbekistan's Denis Istomin 6-4 6-3 to end his barren run on clay.

"I'm starting to learn how to play on clay," Monaco-resident Tomic, who has been searching for his first win on the slow surface since losing in the 2009 French Open first round, told reporters.

"A lot of clay court players play behind the line. But I think my tennis is something different. If I play my tennis, they struggle with my game even on clay... And I think I can do pretty good."

Tomic was eager to prove that his attacking brand of tennis could be reap rewards as he needed only 62 minutes to set up a clash with Ukraine's Alexandr Dolgopolov, who hammered Juan Inacio Chela 6-2 6-2.

Canada's rising talent Milos Raonic failed to join Tomic in the second round as he succumbed 6-2 3-6 6-3 to Spaniard Albert Montanes after producing a flurry of unforced errors.

Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, seeded 13th, struggled to contain an aggressive Rochus before eking out a 4-6 6-2 7-5 win while a couple of Frenchmen made it through.

Julien Benneteau moved past Marcel Granollers 6-3 3-6 6-2 and former top-15 player Paul-Henri Mathieu, who has slumped to 352nd in the world after being out of action for 16 months, took full advantage of a wildcard to thrash American Donald Young 6-0 6-1.

"Being on the centre court today was something difficult to imagine because last year I was dreaming about it. I'm starting a new career now," the 30-year-old Frenchman said.