Tomic sets up Monfils clash
Stockholm - Australian teenager Bernard Tomic tamed Estonian qualifier Jurgen Zopp at the Stockholm Open here on Wednesday to set up a quarter-final clash with French top seed Gael Monfils.
The 18-year-old, ranked 44th and youngest player in the ATP Top 50, beat Zopp 7-6 (7/5), 4-6, 6-0 to become an opening opponent for Monfils, who had a first-round bye and is making his Stockholm debut.
The Frenchman will be testing a knee injury which forced him to miss last week's Shanghai Masters, where Tomic earned a Top 10 win over American Mardy Fish.
A positive scan result in Paris allowed Monfils to return to the ATP this autumn after his fitness scare.
"It will be a tough task," said Tomic, who turns 19 on Friday.
"It's a first match for him and I've gotten a feeling for the court. But Gael's a world-class player, it will be a good fight."
Tomic won the opening set against No 145 Zopp in a tiebreaker, but had to run out the final set to love to earn the victory in just over one and three-quarters hours with 10 aces and 51 winners.
"It was really tough, it was my first time on the centre court here. To play a guy like that in the first round is tricky. I'm happy I won in the end."
Wimbledon quarter-finalist Tomic stands 16-14 on the season as he heads into his first match against Monfils.
"I played well in Asia and I have a good feeling coming into this event," said the Australian. "Wimbledon was big for me but I have a lot to learn and need to spend the next few years improving my game."
Another hot prospect, Bulgarian Grigor Dimitrov, coached by Australian Peter McNamara, advanced as he put out American Ryan Sweeting 6-3, 6-1 with six aces and four breaks of serve.
World No 70 Dimitrov won a round in Shanghai and reached the Bangkok quarter-final where he lost to Andy Murray.
Results on Wednesday at the Stockholm Open (seedings in parentheses):
Bernard Tomic, Australia, def. Jurgen Zopp (Estonia), 7-6 (5), 4-6, 6-0.
Grigor Dimitrov, Bulgaria, def. Ryan Sweeting, United States, 6-3, 6-1.
Sebastian Rieschick, Germany, def. Michael Ryderstedt, Sweden, 6-4, 3-6, 6-3.<
Kevin Anderson (5), South Africa, def. Tommy Haas, Germany, 6-7 (3), 6-4, 6-4.
James Blake, United States, def. Juan Martin Del Potro (2), Argentina, 6-4, 6-4.