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Tomic wins epic to reach Australian Open

Bernard Tomic is back into the Australian Open big-time after winning an epic all-Aussie qualifying showdown with his friend John-Patrick Smith in Doha.

The mercurial 28-year-old became the only one of the 20 Australians who flew out for the arduous offshore qualifying tournaments in Doha and Dubai to make it to the Melbourne grand slam with his victory on Wednesday.

And his gritty 6-4 5-7 7-6 (10-7) win over 31-year-old Townsville left-hander Smith means Tomic will be making a return to the championships, where he three times reached the last-16, for the 11th time.

The only other Australian in the final qualifying matches, teenager Dane Sweeny, went down 2-6 6-3 6-1 to Ukrainian veteran Sergiy Stakhovsky.

The day after surviving a match point against another Australian Tristan Schoolkate, Tomic again had to produce a performance with huge heart and considerable grit to outlast Smith after two and three-quarter hours.

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