Reports of the demise of Bernard Tomic apparently failed to prevent Tomic from extending eventual Istanbul Open champion Milos Raonic on the Turkish clay, although he eventually succumbed 6 – 7, 6 -7 in a little under two hours.
It was a bright glimmer of hope for Tomic, as he has of late made an unfortunate habit of departing early from tournaments.
Raonic is much the more powerful of the two players and that power was on display as the Canadian fired 25 aces at Tomic, impressive on any surface, but more so on clay.
Tomic used his finesse to push Raonic in the first set, and Raonic was making unforced errors, but still never gave Tomic the opportunity to secure a break.
Still just 24, Tomic showed good form and the ability on slow clay that should serve him well in the second of the four Grand Slams this season, the French Open, later this month.
Tomic had one and one chance only for a break in the second set when the two players were tied at four games each, but an unforced error of his own squandered that chance.
An obviously relieved Raonic went on to win his ninth career title, his first of 2017 and his first ever on clay.