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SportsTennisUS Open

Player to watch: Bernard Tomic

Serbian player Novak Djokovic (L) shakes hands after

Serbian player Novak Djokovic (L) shakes hands after wining over Australian player Bernard Tomic during the Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Tennis Club in southwest London. (June 29, 2011) Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

Residence: Brisbane, Australia

Age: 18

Rank: 60

6-4, 170 pounds

Righthanded, two-handed backhand

Next match: Thursday vs. Marin Cilic

This is Tomic’s U.S. Open debut and at 18 years, 10 months old he is the youngest player in the men’s draw. He also is one of the most gifted up-and-comers and made his mark at Wimbledon this year, beating fifth seed Robin Soderling on his way to the quarterfinals. He won the first set before losing to eventual champion Novak Djokovic. He had to win three matches in the qualifier just to get into the tournament.

The Australian’s game is not easy to classify. He’s got enough power, but against the more powerful Soderling he offered up a lot of junk shots, then passed him with the returns. You would never describe his game as overwhelming and he’s not afraid to offer up a 90-mph first serve to throw off an opponent. Crafty might sum it up. He is a hitting partner for Djokovic and occasionally for Roger Federer.

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