• Tomic, Anderson collide in Apia International final

    1/11/13 8:38 AM | Ricky Dimon
    Tomic, Anderson collide in Apia International final Bernard Tomic will contest his first ATP final on Saturday in front of a pro-Australian Sydney crowd. Standing in Tomic's way of the title is Kevin Anderson.

    Is the future now? It could be on Saturday, when Bernard Tomic competes in his first career ATP final at the Apia International.

    Tomic and Kevin Anderson will be going head-to-head for the third time in their careers. Anderson prevailed 7-6(8), 6-1 in a 2010 grass-court Challenger event before Tomic gained a measure of revenge with a 7-6(5), 6-7(4), 6-3 victory in round one of the 2011 Shanghai Masters.

    Two seasons later, both men are playing some of the best tennis of their careers. Tomic predicted that there would be no stopping him in 2013, and so far there has been nothing of the sort. The 20-year-old Australian upset Novak Djokovic at the Hopman Cup and he has come up clutch during a far more important week in Sydney. Tomic booked his spot in the final by defeating Marinko Matosevic, Florian Mayer, Jarkko Nieminen, and Andreas Seppi.

    Anderson just barely missed out on Australian Open seeding with a ranking of No. 36 in the world. The 6'8'' South African went 2-1 in singles at the Hopman Cup, beating John Isner and Fernando Verdasco before losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in two tiebreakers. Anderson opened in Sydney with wins over Aljaz Bedene, Feliciano Lopez, and Denis Istomin then he survived Julien Benneteau 3-6, 6-4, 7-6(8) on Friday.

    "It's not an easy final," Tomic assured. "If he serves really well it's going to be difficult. It will be about who returns better and who makes the most of their opportunities."

    Anderson (2-1 lifetime in ATP finals) may have the edge if he puts in a ton of first serves, but Tomic is playing inspired tennis in front of the home crowd and it just feels like his time. Tomic in three sets is the pick.

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Current ATP-rankings

1. Djokovic 12 500 pts
2. Murray 8 750 pts
3. Federer 8 670 pts
4. Ferrer 6 970 pts
5. Nadal 6 385 pts

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