21 Jan 2012

Local hope survives another epic to reach fourth round

6:36 am on 21 January 2012

A little umpiring luck and a lot of grit lifted rising Australian tennis star Bernard Tomic into the second week of the Australian Open with an epic five-set win over Ukrainian Alexandr Dolgopolov.

In a match of high quality and tension, 19-year-old Tomic sank the 13th seed 4-6 7-6 (7-0) 7-6 (8-6) 2-6 6-3 in three hours and 49 minutes.

One of only two Australians left in the singles draw, Tomic will now take on Roger Federer in the fourth round on Sunday.

But after Dolgopolov squared the match at two sets all, Tomic benefited greatly from an umpiring call in the opening game of the fifth set, in which he clearly appeared to challenge a call mid-point.

His raised racquet and eyebrow went unnoticed, he won the point and the game, leaving Dolgopolov fuming and playing catch-up for the rest of the set.

Tomic later broke the Ukrainian to go 3-1 up, and never relinquished his advantage to ensure his best-ever finish at an Australian Open regardless of how he performs against Federer.

Tomic and Lleyton Hewitt, who is scheduled to play his third round match on Saturday against Canadian Milos Raonic, are the only Australians left in the singles tournaments.