Bernard Tomic took the crown in the second edition of the Claro Open ATP tennis tournament in Bogotá on Sunday July 20.
He beat reigning champion Ivo Karlovic 7-6, 3-6, 7-6. Croatian ‘king of aces’ Karlovic fired a whopping 39 aces past Tomic but that didn’t impress the Australian, who clinched the victory in two tiebreaks.
The eccentric Tomic came to Bogotá in his comeback tour after a double hip surgery in January that made him drop out of the world top 100. The 21-year-old Australian has already faced several controversies in his career but showed in Bogotá that he can be remembered for his technique as much as his tumultuous personal life.
In his first tournament on hard court since his surgery he stated “This title is huge and I will always remember it.” Tomic overcame Farrukh Dustov, Colombian favorite Alejandro Falla, No° 3 seed Vasek Pospisil and Dominican surprise Victor Estrella en route to the final.
In the Centro de Alto Rendimiento, the only Colombian ATP tournament turned out to be a disappointment for Alejandro Falla. The highest ranked Colombian in the tournament reached the final last year but faced a red-hot Tomic in the second round this year.
“I didn’t play my best tennis today, but points to Tomic, he was very solid. The crowd really helped to cheer me up in the second set but unfortunately it didn’t go my way.”
The best Colombian in the tournament was Alejandro Gonzalez who reached the quarterfinals. But the national number three wasn’t able to beat fourth seeded Radek Stepanek. “I still feel I could have won this one, but it was a good match. A couple of points going his way decided it today”, Stepanek said.
Off the court. Falla went up Monserrate to show number one seed Richard Gasquet the city from above and to play a couple of balls on top of the mountain. Gasquet was impressed; “It was an amazing experience to go [to Monserrate].”
Falla — along with coach Miguel Tobon — was also active in organizing a fundraising event to support Colombian tennis player Catalina Castaño in her battle against breast cancer. In the same week she underwent her sixth chemotherapy session, she shared her gratitude via Twitter to Falla and everyone who continues to support her in the fight against cancer.
The ATP tour continues in preparation for the US Open at the end of August where the top Colombians will be looking to make it to the second week.