SYDNEY — Bernard Tomic of Australia won his first ATP title on Saturday, beating South Africa’s Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-7 (2), 6-3 in the Sydney International final.
The 20-year-old Tomic dominated the first set, but the big-serving Anderson won 24 of 26 points on his serve in the second and played more aggressively than his opponent as he tried to get back into the match.
Tomic had three unforced errors in the tiebreaker, including a floating backhand that went long on set point, sending the match into a third set.
Tomic broke Anderson at 4-3 in the tiebreak shortly after the South African had called for a fresh pair of shoes from the locker room, and then held serve to close out the match at Olympic Park.
“It’s an amazing feeling,” an emotional Tomic said after receiving the Ken Rosewall Trophy from the Australian legend.
“It’s an honor to have won my first tournament in front of you,” Tomic said, referring to Rosewall. “It’s been a long road, but finally I have one of these trophies.”
With Saturday’s win Tomic’s ranking will climb more than 20 places, possibly as high as No. 43, when the Australian Open begins on Monday, reclaiming the Australian top spot over Marinko Matosevic.
He is the ninth Australian winner of the Sydney event and first since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.
Hewitt beats del Potro: Lleyton Hewitt warmed up for his 17th Australian Open with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Juan Martin del Potro on Saturday in the final of the Kooyong classic invitational exhibition tournament.
The 31-year-old Hewitt, once the top-ranked player in the world, won the tuneup event ahead of the season’s first major for the second time in three years and said, “I hit the ball as well as I have in a long time.”
Hewitt has a tough first-round match at the Australian Open against No. 8 seed Janko Tipsarevic on Monday night. The veteran Australian has won the U.S. Open and Wimbledon, but only once reached the final of his home major.