Bernard Tomic breaks through for long-awaited four-year tennis first
Bernard Tomic has broken through for his first tournament victory since 2018, overcoming world No.671 Tristan McCormick in the final of the ITF tournament in Cancun, Mexico.
The Australian former World No.17, now ranked a lowly 801st, enjoyed one of his best performances in recent memory, not dropping a set on his way to tournament victory.
UNBELIEVABLE: Australia's Davis Cup tie savaged over 'outrageous' detail
HOW GOOD: Dylan Alcott's incredible honour after death of Queen Elizabeth
The 29-year-old's 7-6(4) 6-3 victory over the American represented his first tour triumph since he lifted the trophy at the Chengdu ATP event in China in 2018, where he toppled Fabio Fognini.
After sensationally claiming he was still capable of winning Wimbledon in a revealing interview with A Current Affair prior to the 2022 Australian Open, Tomic declared he had major regrets about how his career had panned out.
Tomic has spent much of 2022 competing on the ATP Challenger Circuit, before dropping back down to the ITF for the tournament in Cancun.
His rank is expected to rise some 200 places thanks to the victory, which also included a near flawless win over No.1 seed Blu Baker 6-0 6-2.
An attempted run at the Australian Open earlier this year was dashed when he was knocked out in the qualifiers, after having progressed to the second round in 2021.
In his interview with A Current Affair, Tomic admitted dedicating his life to tennis from a young age at the urging of father and coach John Tomic had ultimately worked against him.
He said the expectations of his father, which included double-figure grand slam victories, had been too much to bear when he eventually came into the sporting spotlight.
Tomic sent records tumbling early in his career, becoming the youngest player to win a match at the Australian Open when he was 16, and reaching the Wimbledon quarter-finals at 18.
“Obviously there's a lot of stuff I would change there as a father, as a son," Tomic said.
"I wouldn’t want to raise my kids the way I was raised. I mean, you live and learn. I have learnt a lot from my father, don’t get me wrong.
“His expectations for me as a player was always too high, of being No. 1 and winning 10-20 grand slams.
"There was always a lot of pressure thrown on me from my father and it’s not easy, people don’t see this outside world of constant pressure, pressure, pressure.
"Then there is the fans and general public, so all of that when it was thrown upon me, it was not easy to handle. I didn't handle it very well.”
Aussies off to roaring Davis Cup start versus Belgium
Elsewhere in the tennis world, Australia have shot to the top of Group C with a faultless 3-0 Davis Cup victory over Belgium.
Jason Kubler and Alex de Minaur gave the Aussies an unassailable 2-0 lead on Tuesday with wins in the singles.
Then Matthew Ebden and Max Purcell rounded off a perfect opening day in Hamburg with victory in the doubles against Sander Gille and Joran Vliegen.
Australia are in the same qualifying group as France and Germany, who face each other on Wednesday.
But Lleyton Hewitt's team are in pole position to finish in the top two and land a place in the Final 8 in Malaga in late November.
Davis Cup debutant Kubler beat Zizou Bergs in three sets, while De Minaur saw off David Goffin in straight sets.
Kubler, a late replacement for Thanasi Kokkinakis, who was unwell, won the first set 6-4 in Hamburg.
He suffered a wobble when 23-year-old Bergs - named Zizou in honour of soccer player Zinedine Zidane - romped through the second set 6-1.
But Kubler, cheered on by other members of the Australian team, regrouped and battled back to win the final set and take the match 6-4 1-6 6-3.
Kubler, 29, is a former world junior No.1 whose career has been blighted by knee injuries. But he has been in fine form this year, reaching the fourth round at Wimbledon, where he lost to Taylor Fritz.
Asked how it felt to win his first Davis Cup match, he said: "It feels great. To finish my debut after being a break down in the third, I'm very happy. It's a special way to start my Davis Cup career.
"We had a team meeting to decide who was going to play. Luckily, we have the options and we have confidence in all the five players.
"When I found out it was one of the things to see that the team had a lot of believe in me. It made me feel special.
"Opening the Davis Cup was a massive boost in my confidence."
Click here to sign up to our newsletter for all the latest and breaking stories from Australia and around the world.