One of Australia’s most divisive tennis champions has made a glorified comeback after winning his first title in three years.
Bernard Tomic won his first ATP World Tour title in more than three years on Sunday, beating Italian Fabio Fognini 6-1, 3-6, 7-6(7) in the final of the Chengdu Open.
An emotional Tomic had to battle hard against the top seed, saving four match points in a tense final set before wrapping up the match in two hours and 15 minutes.
Tomic had to battle hard against the top seed, saving four match points in a tense final set before wrapping up the match in two hours and 15 minutes
The 25-year-old broke up with his girlfriend Emma Blake-Hahnel (pictured together) just before his appearance on I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here – she claimed she only found out via a newspaper article
Bernard Tomic of Australia celebrates winning his final match against Fabio Fognini of Italy
The 25-year-old sent down 12 aces and won 70 percent of his first serves to claim his first title since his victory iBogota in 2015.
Fognini started poorly against Tomic but settled into his stride in the second set, levelling the match at one set apiece to set the stage for a thrilling finale.
Tomic survived four match points before Fognini sent a forehand long to hand the Australian a match point of his own.
Following his victorious win, Tomic collapsed on the court in disbelief and happiness as he fought back tears.
The last few years have been hard on Tomic, who slipped out the world’s top 20 after a significant slump in form.
He faced criticism from back home for a perceived lack of effort out on court and questions abound over his temperament.
He managed to mostly stay away from the sort of unwanted headlines and has climbed to 123 from 243 in the world rankings since May.
Tomic collapsed on the court in disbelief and happiness following his astonishing win
Tomic told Sydney Confidential he and Emma split prior to him going on the reality show, stating ‘I was with her last year for a year-and-a-half, but I’ve sort of stopped’ (pictured together)
Earlier this year in the Australian Open, Tomic got into a fit of rage after losing his first round by little-known Italian player Lorenzo Sonego, who was ranked 281th in the world.
As he walked from the court after the humiliating defeat, reporters asked him what the next step in his career would be.
He replied: ‘I just count money, that’s all I do. I count my millions.
‘You go do what I did. You go make thirteen, fourteen million. Good luck guys, bye bye.’
A few weeks after the Australian Open, Tomic surprisingly appeared on Channel Ten’s reality TV show, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here.
Tomic is seen kissing the courts after winning the match against Fognini
He called it quits after just three nights in the jungle stating that he was depressed.
‘I thought I’d be super happy, camping for the first time, being around new people … Half the time during the day, I’m just depressed,’ he told Real Housewives of Melbourne star Jackie Gillies before quitting.
‘I’ve never really had time to think about my thoughts. I’ve always had people around, my mobile phone … everything was so fast-paced. Everything’s slowed down in the last few days.
‘I don’t want to spend half my time depressed here, thinking about how I played last year and where I should be.’
The 25-year-old broke up with his girlfriend Emma Blake-Hahnel before he entered the South African jungle, but she claimed she only found out via a newspaper article.
‘I read an article about it and I’m puzzled. I’m quite perplexed about the situation as Bernard and I have not broken up,’ the 21-year-old model told Women’s Day at the time.
Tomic told Sydney Confidential he and Emma split prior to him going on the reality show, stating ‘I was with her last year for a year-and-a-half, but I’ve sort of stopped.’