Bernard Tomic has survived a match point to qualify for just his second ATP quarterfinal of the year at the Chengdu Open.
Frequently pilloried for not giving his all in matches, the 25-year-old dug deep to beat big-serving South African Lloyd Harris, 7-6 (7-5) 2-6 7-6 (8-6).
Comeback: Bernard Tomic won 8-6 in the deciding third set for victory in China.
Looking to move back into the top 100 by season's end to ensure automatic entry into the 2019 Australian Open, Tomic had to withstand 23 aces and an edgy tiebreaker to get the job done.
After winning a tight first set that didn't feature a break point chance for either player, Tomic suffered a mid-match malaise and quickly found the ledger squared after having his serve broken twice in a forgettable second.
He soon found his feet again in the third, establishing a 2-0 lead, only to relinquish what would be his only break of serve in the match.
From there the set stayed on serve before Tomic pinched a mini-break in the tiebreaker and had the opportunity to serve out the clash at 5-4.
But Harris had other ideas and won consecutive points off Tomic's serve to have the match on his racquet at 6-5.
Tomic returned the favour by winning both points from the Harris serve and then served out the match.
He'll play the winner of the match between Australian Open semi-finalist Hyeon Chung and Felix Auger-Aliassime.
Currently ranked 123 in the world, Tomic should rise close to No.100 should he win through to the semifinals in China.
The cut off for direct entry to the Australian Open is usually No.104; Tomic was forced into qualifying this year where he lost in the last round.
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