Australian Bernard Tomic insists his victory over Ivo Karlovic in the Columbia Open final is “huge” as he tries to get his career back on track.
The 21-year-old, who had double hip surgery in January, had continued to slide down the rankings in recent years after reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open in 2012.
Tomic did brilliantly well to end the week on a high, just days after splitting with his management company as his off-court problems continue to grab the headlines.
At one point he sat 27th in the ATP rankings, but he started Sunday’s final at 124th in the world, while earlier this year he was famously beaten in just 26 minutes in Miami.
His 7-6 (7-5) 3-6 7-6 (7-4) victory over defending champion Karlovic now sees him return to the world’s top 100.
Karlovic fired down 39 aces in the contest but it wasn’t enough as Tomic battled hard throughout the match and eventually wrapped up the victory inside two hours and 13 minutes.
Speaking after the match, Tomic said: “It’s my first tournament on hard courts since my surgeries in Australia.
“This title is huge and it’s one I will always remember.
“I kept trying and believing in myself. Against him, if you stop believing and trying he will beat you.”