Tennis - Tomic wins first ATP title in Sydney

Bernard Tomic claimed his first ATP title with a gutsy 6-3 6-7 6-3 win over South Africa’s Kevin Anderson at the Sydney International.

Tomic became the ninth Australian winner of the Sydney event, and the first since Lleyton Hewitt in 2005, as he continued his fine preparations for the first Grand Slam of the year in Melbourne.

The 20-year-old, who slipped alarmingly from a career-high ranking of 27 in 2012 as his attitude and off-court behaviour were heavily criticised, is now set to climb more than 20 places, possibly as high as number 43. He is also set to reclaim the Australian number one spot from compatriot Marinko Matosevic.

Tomic broke the towering South African’s serve in the second game, racing to a 3-0 lead, and served well at crucial times to seal the first set in just 27 minutes.

He was made to work much harder in the second set, however, as Anderson controlled the tie-break, eventually taking it 7-2 in comprehensive fashion to level up the match.

The Australian failed to convert any of three break points in the fourth game of the deciding set, but finally converted his seventh of the set when Anderson double faulted, before serving out and kissing the blue court in celebration.

"It's a great honour to win my first title here," said Tomic, who is still at loggerheads with Australia's Davis Cup captain Pat Rafter over perceived attitude problems.

"It's been a long time coming but I've finally got one of these trophies."

Tomic will begin his Open campaign on Tuesday against Argentina’s Leonardo Mayer and could meet Roger Federer if he reaches the third round.