Bernard Tomic won his first senior title at the Kooyong Classic on Saturday, defeating world number eight Mardy Fish 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 at the Australian Open tune-up.
The 19-year-old sensation, who is ranked 37 in the world, again showed his promise, following a run to the Wimbledon quarter-finals last summer and a semi-final loss in Brisbane against Andy Murray last week.
"I've never lifted a trophy before at this level," said Tomic. "I'm proud to have my name on a trophy like this.
"It's a good feeling and one that I'll always treasure. Hopefully this will help me do well at the Australian Open," said the player, who faces experienced Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the first round at Melbourne Park.
The win made him the youngest player to triumph at Kooyong and handed him a timely boost ahead of the Open, which starts on Monday.
However, Tomic feels he will need to play differently when he lines up opposite Verdasco.
"I think I'll need to be a little bit more aggressive," Tomic said.
"There's only three or four guys on tour who can play all day and he's one of them.
"I'll need to come out, be aggressive and be fast like the first few matches I was playing at Kooyong and if I play like that and to his backhand corner deep I think he can't really hurt me."
"It's a good thing that I played him before when he made that run and got to the (2009 Australian Open) semis and I managed to get up 2-0, 40-15 and he beat me 6-4 6-2.
"I learnt from that and I remembered playing him.
"It's a tough first round but it's a very winnable match for me if I come in focused. It's a good feeling to know you are playing someone you have confidence against and who is not a big seed."
Tomic's victory came in an hour and three-quarters during which he showed off his big game at the expense of Fish, who is 11 years older than the teenager.
"I enjoyed this week, Bernard is playing great tennis," said the defeated American.
"This is the perfect preparation for the Australian Open."
Tomic, who lost his first two matches against Fish but beat him last autumn in Shanghai, claimed the first set with a storming start after taking a 4-0 lead.
But Fish came back, his experience paying off in the second set to break the Tomic serve.
Tomic was unfazed and took victory in the third, breaking in the last game to win on the first of two match points.
Earlier Austria's Jurgen Melzer recorded his second upset of a higher-ranked opponent in a week to claim third-place honours with a 6-3, 6-7 (10-12), 6-2 win over Gael Monfils.
AFPTags: australian-open, tennis, sport, melbourne-3000, vic, australia First posted January 14, 2012 18:01:38