Tomic back on winners list in Stuttgart

Bernard Tomic has ended a three-tournament run of first round exits with an opening round victory in Stuttgart, the German city where he was born.

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The win over French journeyman Stephane Robert, was not simple for the struggling Australian however.

Tomic eventually prevailed over the world No.139 6-1 5-7 6-2 but not before blowing a seemingly unassailable lead in spectacular fashion.

Tomic was leading Robert 6-1 5-1 when unforced errors and possibly nerves kicked in, allowing the Frenchman to reel off six straight games and send the match to a deciding set.

Thankfully for Tomic – who had just five wins and 12 losses this year coming into the match, including one to then world No.140 Darian King – he steadied himself and hit a series of forehand winners to close out the match in the third.

The win on his favourite grasscourt surface has put the Australian, now ranked 48 in the world, after slipping from 26 at the start of the year, into the second round where he will face Tomas Berdych.

Berdych, the 2010 Wimbledon finalist and current world No.14 had a first round bye.

Also recording an enjoyable win was German veteran Tommy Haas, who advanced to the second round with a 6-3 4-6 7-5 win over Pierre-Hugues Herbert to book a farewell tour match with top seed Roger Federer.

The duo have played some exciting matches on grass over the years with 35-year-old Federer holding a 4-1 edge over 39-year-old Haas on the surface.

“We’ve had a lot of great battles in the past,” Haas said.

“The next match excites me, but I’ll have to play better than today … I’m a very happy person, I’m pleased with this result.”

The two had practised together earlier in the week in a promotional appearance for the tournament.

Also recording wins were grasscourt specialist Feliciano Lopez, who sent French seventh seed Giilles Simon out 6-3 6-3 and Benoit Paire who upset eighth seed Viktor Troicki 6-4 6-4.