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By Chris Oddo | Sunday, July 20, 2014

 
Bernard Tomic, Claro Open Colombia 2014

Bernard Tomic turned his first back-to-back wins since January into an inspiring title run, taking down Ivo Karlovic in a dramatic final in Bogota.

Photo Source: Claro Open Colombia

Bernard Tomic has been pretty much an afterthought for most of 2014, but the 21-year-old reminded tennis fans of his vast, untapped potential with a surge to the Claro Open Colombia title this week, which he capped off with a dramatic, 7-6(5), 3-6, 7-6(4) victory over Ivo Karlovic on Sunday.

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With his second career title, Tomic becomes both the youngest and the lowest-ranked title winner on the ATP Tour in 2014.

The mercurial Aussie, who has sought out more controversy than victories in the last two seasons, revealed a more focused, more intense side of himself during his two hour and thirteen-minute battle with Karlovic.

At times he gesticulated so wildly that it almost seemed forced, as if he’d gone out with the intention of showing as much emotion as he possibly could on court.

Whatever Tomic’s intention, his fiery attitude worked. He played a fantastic first-set tiebreaker to take the early lead, and when Karlovic snared a pivotal break in the eighth game of the second set which led to the levelling of the match, Tomic didn’t hang his head or dwell on the setback.

Instead the world No. 124 who was granted a wild card into the main draw pushed through the third set without facing a break point, and even when he failed to convert on two match points in the 12th game of the set, Tomic remained unfazed.

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Despite 39 aces from the 6’10” Karlovic’s racquet, the last of which saved a third match point in the tiebreaker, Tomic held firm and finally closed out the title when a blistering return forced a final Karlovic error.

After a long season that has seen Tomic undergo a double hip surgery and a trying week that saw the once-hyped prodigy dumped by his agent, Tomic showed that he’s still got quite a bit of fight in him in rallying to his second career title and his first away from Australian Soil. He dropped to the court on his back and spread his arms and legs when the match was won, savoring a hard-earned victory that was indeed a long time coming.

As for Karlovic, he narrowly missed the chance to become the ATP’s oldest winner in 2014, and he also suffered his second consecutive heartbreaking defeat in a final. Both losses (last week at Newport and this week in Bogota) ended in a third-set tiebreaker, but both proved that at 35, Karlovic is as dangerous a competitor as he’s ever been.

 

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