Tomic digs deep to progress at Eastbourne

LIAM FITZGIBBON
Last updated 07:04 20/06/2013

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Bernard Tomic dug deep to secure an epic three-set win over Frenchman Julien Benneteau and reach the Eastbourne ATP quarter-finals.

Tomic delivered another encouraging pre-Wimbledon performance in a 6-2 5-7 7-6 (7-4) win at the grass-court event on England's south coast on Wednesday.

After winning his first match in almost two months on Tuesday, the 20-year-old looked to be coasting towards another impressive victory when he raced to a 4-1 lead in the second set.

But 32nd-ranked Benneteau fought back strongly to claim the second set and neither player dropped serve in a high-quality final set.

Tomic edged the deciding tiebreaker to after almost two hours of play to set up a last-eight showdown with either second seed Gilles Simon or British teenager Kyle Edmund.

On a match played on an outside court in warm conditions, Tomic's father and coach John was again court-side and he stood among spectators.

Although his ATP credentials have been suspending pending an investigation into an alleged assault, he has been allowed to attend the Queen's and Eastbourne events as a paying spectator.

He was barred from attending the French Open last month and will also be refused entry at Wimbledon next week.

World No.64 Tomic is the last Australian left in singles at Eastbourne after Samantha Stosur lost her second round match to Czech Lucie Safarova 7-5 6-3 on Wednesday.

Tomic didn't appear troubled by a hamstring problem, despite admitting after his first-round win over James Ward he still wasn't 100 per cent fit.

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- AAP

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