When 18-year-old Bernard Tomic  reached Wimbledon quarterfinals in 2011, it seemed “the big 4” would have a strong contender in the near future. However, Tomic profoundly disappointed last year, losing several times at early stages and dropping 10 places within the calendar year. He worked hard during the off season last December, has added more spin to his forehand, improved footwork, which helped to reinforce the serve inter alia, and after winning all three matches at Hopman Cup (including impressive straight sets win over Djokovic), triumphed in Sydney holding 39 service games in a row in the end. It’s his 1st career title at 50th event at the main level. He says he might be the best player ever, it sounds like a serious exaggeration, but with this type of attitude maybe he’s going to make a huge progress this year. His fanfaronade may be verified soon, because at Australian Open he is potentially destined to face Federer in the third round (last year they played in Melbourne one round later, and Tomic got a severe lesson). “It’s an amazing feeling,” 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.”… The runner-up Kevin Anderson was lucky to play in the final – in his semifinal saved a match point against Benneteau with enormous kick-2nd-serve ace (166 kph). Three best Frenchmen (Tsonga, Gasquet, Simon) pulled out of the Sydney International making the draw one of the weakest in recent years. David Ferrer  doesn’t slow down, perhaps he is pumped up due to Nadal’s sabbatical. After sensational end of the last season when he had won 16 out of 17 matches, he has already notched the most ATP wins this year – seven. He lost – rather unexpectedly – in the Doha’s semifinal, but quickly arrived in Auckland to collect his 4th title there (19 overall). “I’m really happy, because I did a new record for my career. It’s really nice to win one ATP tournament, but four times is very difficult,” said Ferrer. “I think the first set was the key. He served to win the first set, but he didn’t take his chance. I tried to fight for every point and in the important moments, I was there. In the tie-break, I played better.” – Kohlschreiber blew a set point on serve at 5:4.
Sydney (250) S: Bernard Tomic d. Kevin Anderson 6-3, 6-7(2), 6-3 D: (1)B.Bryan/M.Bryan d. (4)M.Mirnyi/H.Tecau 6-4, 6-4
Auckland (250) S: (1)David Ferrer d. (2)Philipp Kohlschreiber 7-6(5), 6-1 D: (1)C.Fleming/B.Soares d. J.Brunstrom/F.Nielsen 7-6(1), 7-6(2)
Choker of the week: Julien Benneteau, who wasted 2 match points during a 6-3, 4-6, 6-7(8) loss to Kevin Anderson – first singles “MP” match of the year. Both MPs on return, the first at 6:5, the second at 7:6 in the tie-break. Benneteau, once one of the best players in deciding tie-breaks, now has lost 4 straight matches of this type.