After three rounds of qualifying for the historic 2021 edition of the Australian Open there were just three Australians with a shot at reaching the main draw.
Due to COVID-19 the qualifying was held offshore for the very first time. The men played in Doha and the women in Dubai.
Bernard Tomic took on John -Patrick Smith in an all-Australian matchup. While Dane Sweeny faced Ukraine’s Sergiy Stakhovsky.
Tomic had survived a match point in his second round match against another Australian, Tristan Schoolkate.
Against Patrick Tomic took the first set 6-4 before his fellow Queenslander too the second 7-5.
The match was then decided in a super tie-breaker with Tomic booking a main draw spot 10-7.
“He’s a dangerous player,” Tomic said of Smith. “He had nothing to lose, so today was tough.”
“I was fighting and competing for every point, but it was tough,” Tomic said. “I’d like to play a little more aggressive, but when the body is not there it is tough to play aggressive.”
Sweeny took the first set 6-2 against Stakhovsky before fading to lose the next two sets 6-3, 6,1.
Tomic will now head to Melbourne to enter the 14-day quarantine. He will be competing in his 11th singles event at the Australian Open with a 17-10 win-loss record. Tomic’s best result is a fourth-round appearance – which he achieved in 2012, 2015 and 2016.