Fixture: Bernard Tomic vs John-Patrick Smith
Date: 13 January 2021
Tournament: Australian Open 2021 qualifiers
Round: Third round
Venue: Doha, Qatar
Category: Grand Slam
Surface: Outdoor hardcourt
Match timing: Approx. 1.30 pm local time, 4 pm IST
Bernard Tomic vs John-Patrick Smith preview
Former World No. 17 Bernard Tomic has come through the first two rounds of the Australian Open qualifiers, surprising many.
The 28-year-old Tomic scored a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win over No. 14 seed Jozef Kovalík in his first match in Doha. And on Tuesday, he came from behind to defeat 19-year-old countryman Tristan Schoolkate.
After saving a match point at 4-5 in the final set, Tomic fought back to score a hard-fought 6-4 1-6 7-6 (10-3) won over his compatriot in 2.5 hours.
Standing between Tomic and his first Grand Slam main draw appearance since Wimbledon 2019 is fellow Aussie John Patrick Smith.
Smith, ranked No. 315 in the world, upset the No. 25 seed Paolo Lorenzi in straight sets in the first round. He followed that up with a 2-6 6-3 6-4 win over Dutchman Tallon Griekspoor, who is ranked 160 places above him.
Bernard Tomic vs John-Patrick Smith head-to-head
John-Patrick Smith has a 1-0 head-to-head edge over Bernard Tomic on the ATP tour. Smith defeated Tomic in straight sets in the first round of the 2015 Hall of Fame Championships at Newport.
Incidentally, that was John-Patrick Smith's first ATP tour level win.
Bernard Tomic vs John-Patrick Smith prediction
The Australian Open has been Bernard Tomic's most successful Grand Slam. He holds a 17-10 win-loss record in Melbourne, including three fourth round appearances.
The Aussie has played in the main draw of his home Slam every year since 2009, barring 2020 - where he lost in the final round of qualifying.
John-Patrick Smith, who peaked at No. 108 in the singles rankings, has made six Grand Slam main draw appearances but is yet to win a match. Two of those appearances came at the Australian Open.
For both players, this is their first event since March 2020. And after two rounds, it will likely come down to which of the two is fitter and more willing to go the distance.
Tomic is vastly more experienced at the highest level, but is now ranked No. 228 and has been known to struggle with motivation. Although the 28-year-old has let his racket do the talking this week, it remains to be seen how long this newfound sense of urgency lasts.
That said, if Tomic is on his game on Wednesday, he will likely come away with the win.
Prediction: Bernard Tomic to win in three sets.Published 12 Jan 2021, 23:27 IST