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Australian firebrand Bernard Tomic wins first title in three years

Bernard Tomic defeated top seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7) in a thrilling three-setter in southwest China, where he was a qualifier.

tennis Updated: Sep 30, 2018 18:26 IST
Bernard Tomic,Fabio Fognini,Chengdu Open
Bernard Tomic of Australia reacts after winning his men's singles match against Fabio Fognini.(AFP)

Controversial Australian Bernard Tomic won his first significant tournament in three years on Sunday -- and in the most dramatic of circumstances, saving four match points to triumph at the Chengdu Open.

The 25-year-old defeated top seed Fabio Fognini of Italy 6-1, 3-6, 7-6 (9/7) in a thrilling three-setter in southwest China, where he was a qualifier.

Victory for Tomic -- his first ATP World Tour crown since Bogota in 2015 -- will propel the world-ranked 123 comfortably inside the top 100.

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It was double disappointment for Fognini, who had been attempting to become the first Italian man to win four titles in a season.

For Tomic, it was a welcome change to be making headlines for the right reasons.

Once seen as a rising star, he has had a number of run-ins with authorities over the years.

In January he faced a backlash after boasting “I just count my millions” in response to failing to negotiate qualifying for the Australian Open.

In 2017, as his once-promising career nosedived, Tomic admitted he was sometimes “bored” during matches and not always giving 100 percent.

First Published: Sep 30, 2018 18:21 IST