Tomic into first ATP final since 2016
The Bernard Tomic comeback is gathering momentum with the Australian qualifying for his first ATP final in more than two and a half years after a straight sets win in Chengdu on Saturday.
Tomic looked back to his crafty best in a 6-4 6-4 win over Portugal’s Joao Sousa and will now meet top seeded Italian Fabio Fognini in the final on Sunday.
The 25 year-old was dominant on serve with 12 aces and won 82 per cent of points when his first delivery landed.
He captured a break in each set and continually frustrated his opponent with his deep and flat shots.
Things tightened when Tomic served for the match at 5-4 and Sousa established a 0-40 lead.
But the Australian, frequently criticised for failing to hang tough in matches, did just that and won five consecutive points on serve to seal the result.
It will be his first final since losing to Austrian star Dominic Thiem at the Mexican Open in February 2016.
Forced as he has been for much of the past year to go through qualifying at the Chinese tournament, he has now won six matches on the hop.
The win has him projected to rise from No.123 in the world to No.92 and now in the zone to qualify directly for the Australian Open.
A win in Chengdu, which would mark a fourth career title, would see him lift into the world’s top 80.
Fognini, a 6-7 (7-5) 6-0 6-3 winner over American Taylor Fritz in their semi-final, will be a warm favourite to beat Tomic given his world ranking of No.13 and 2-1 career record against the Australian.
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