Australian teenager Bernard Tomic tamed Estonian qualifier Jurgen Zopp at the Stockholm Open here Wednesday to set up a quarter-final with French top seed Gael Monfils – who is hoping to collect valuable ranking points to reach the ATP World Tour Finals.
The 18-year-old Tomic, 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 number 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 come 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.”