Tomic leads Aussie charge at Wimbledon
BERNARD Tomic will be one of six Australians on court at Wimbledon tonight (weather permitting) after overcoming two more rain delays to finally beat Spain's Fernando Verdasco 4-6 6-3 6-3 3-6 6-4.
Tomic resumed at two sets all and held his nerve to set up a clash with Moldovan qualifier Radu Albot tonight.
The winner of that match is likely to face 14th seed Roberto Bautista Agut in round two and Tomic said he was confident of progressing further despite having to play three days running.
"Whoever won this match had a big chance of going further into the draw, for sure," he said.
Tomic resumed against Verdasco with the match on a knife's edge after anxiously waiting another hour after the scheduled restart before the covers were removed from court three at the All England Club.
He gained the decisive break in the sixth game, much to the delight of Australian Davis Cup captain Lleyton Hewitt, who bellowed a signature "c'mon!" from Tomic's courtside box in celebration.
Tomic had to hold his nerve and serve from love-40 down to consolidate for 5-3 after fighting off five break points, only for light drizzle to force the players off once more for another four hours.
He finally put Verdasco away after two hours and 45 minutes of on-court action, despite the one-time Australian Open semi-finalist firing down 28 aces to Tomic's 11 and clubbing 69 winners to 51.
Aussie qualifier Matthew Barton will also play three consecutive days after rain stopped his first-round clash at 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-7 3-3.
Barton is aiming for a first grand slam match win after getting to his maiden major tournament.
Also tonight Nick Kyrgios takes on German wildcard Dustin Brown and John Millman plays Frenchman Benoit Paire in an attempt to make the last 32.
Samantha Stosur did not get on court and will now face former Wimbledon runner-up Sabine Lisicki tonight.
Daria Gavrilova also faces a tough second-round opponent when she takes on 19th-seeded Dominika Cibulkova, who won the pre-Wimbledon tournament at Eastbourne.
There was not much action because of the rain on day three but defending champion Novak Djokovic defeated Adrian Mannarino 6-4 6-3 7-6 to reach the third round.
The Serb will face either American 28th seed Sam Querrey or Thomaz Bellucci for a place in the last 16 after winning his 30th successive grand slam match, putting him one behind Rod Laver's best (31) and seven behind the record 37 set by Don Budge in 1938.
Third seed Roger Federer ended Briton Marcus Willis' dream run, defeating the world No.772 6-0 6-3 6-4 - but not before the unheralded left-hander got himself on the highlights reel.
Tomas Berdych, the 2010 runner-up, was another to complete his first-round tie and will now face Germany's Benjamin Becker after beating Croatia's Ivan Dodig 7-6 5-7 6-1 7-6.
Rising Austrian star Dominic Thiem beat Halle champion Florian Mayer 7-5 6-4 6-4 while German teenager Alexander Zverev defeated French veteran Paul-Henri Mathieu 6-3 6-4 6-2.
The runner-up in 2012, Polish third seed Agnieszka Radwanska, kept up her record of never having lost a first-round match at Wimbledon by defeating Ukraine's Kateryna Kozlova 6-2 6-1 to set up a match with Ana Konjuh of Croatia.
Two-time women's champion Petra Kvitova crushed Sorana Cirstea 6-0 6-4.