ATP Tour

Tomic triumphant in return

Bernard Tomic (AFP)
Bernard Tomic (AFP)

Washington - Putting aside off-court distractions in his first match since a fourth-round Wimbledon run, Australia's Bernard Tomic advanced to the round of 16 on Tuesday at the ATP Washington Open.

Tomic, who had an opening bye as the 14th seed, beat David Goffin 6-1, 6-3, avenging a first-round loss to the Belgian last year at Wimbledon and booking a third-round matchup with either American Ryan Harrison or Argentine top seed Juan Martin Del Potro, the 2009 US Open winner.

"I played not so bad," Tomic said. "Very tough conditions. Very difficult to play 100 percent on these courts because it's so hot and so humid."

The distraction was mild by comparison to the 12-month ATP ban that kept Tomic's father John from watching him play at Wimbledon. The elder Tomic faces charges in Madrid after a head-butting incident that left former Tomic hitting partner Thomas Drouet with a broken nose, although John Tomic said he acted in self defense.

Tomic has elected to cope with such distractions internally.

"I sort of like to put things inside of me to distance myself from what's around me," he said. "That's how I deal with it."

Tomic said that he has received support since the Madrid incident from Tennis Australia, a group with whom he once had strained relations.

"There has been some help," Tomic said. "Probably not the help I would have expected, but there has been some help. They have been very good. They have been supportive. I get along with Tennis Australia very well."

Tomic, the youngest player in the draw at 20, fired seven aces and saved all six break points that he faced to beat Goffin in 65 minutes at the US Open hardcourt tuenup in his first match since losing to Czech Tomas Berdych in the fourth round at Wimbledon.

"I'm happy with the way I'm playing because I didn't put a lot of preparing into this tournament," Tomic said, noting his three-week break since Wimbledon.

Tomic said he has not been bothered by a right hamstring injury that forced him to withdraw in the first round at the French Open.

Ranked 40th after reaching a career high of 27th a year ago, Tomic is 20-13 this year. He won his first ATP title last January at Sydney, the first Aussie to win that event since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005.

Tomic has noted an 18-month doping ban imposed upon Serbian Viktor Troicki for allegedly not allowing a blood sample to be taken for testing and a reported positive test for 15th-ranked Croatian Marin Cilic .

"Very interesting. Very weird as well," Tomic said. "It's strange. But it's their issue. It's strange how it can happen. As a player myself it's really weird to see what can happen."

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