Youth shows its promise as the will to win displays itself anew

Despite the consensus that there have only ever been four legitimate contenders, the men's tournament remains animated by plenty of colour and quality on the periphery.

More gratifying still, much of it has been contributed by players who were little more than children when Roger Federer emerged on the Grand Slam scene.

In the gloaming on Thursday, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga had been forced to the limits of his own exotic talent by the 20-year-old Bulgarian, Grigor Dimitrov. At the same time, a couple of other rising stars were being measured on the Grand Slam stage – but their matches could not be completed until yesterday. In both cases, they will have learned a good deal from the way their fortunes transformed overnight.

Bernard Tomic, the Australian 18-year-old, turned round a two-set deficit to beat Igor Andreev 4-6, 5-7, 6-3, 6-4, 6-1. But Ryan Harrison, the other teenager in the draw, lost the initiative against No 7 seed, David Ferrer, to go down 6-7, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2. Both these young men must learn to temper their fires, but there is no mistaking the promise they distil for a new generation.

Tomic, fittingly, will next seek to avenge the defeat of his veteran compatriot, Lleyton Hewitt, when he meets Robin Soderling in the third round. In his case, a reputation for insolence is traced in part to a bizarre incident here two years ago, when it was claimed that Tomic's camp had refused a practice session with Hewitt. But they seem to be patching things up now. Hewitt was watching from the players' gallery, and Tomic said that he will seek his counsel on strategy against the big No 5 seed today – "if I see him". Regardless, the symbolism of the moment is completed by the fact that Tomic will now formally overtake Hewitt as the Australian No 1.

He certainly needed all the self-belief of youth to come back from 0-2 down in the third the previous evening. A dual junior Grand Slam winner, he overcame a jittery game when serving for the fourth before storming away with the decider. His return of serve reliably keeps him in the game, and seems increasingly at home on grass.

"That was my first really big test," he said afterwards. "That's the first time in my career I've been down two sets to love and a break down. I think I gave it a shot. I tested myself to get back in that set, and then the rain came, and the nightfall. Today I started to play deeper and faster – that's something I picked up on in the third, when he made a few errors. He doesn't really like to be pushed."

He will need physical precocity on his side, too, Soderling having enjoyed a day's rest. But he is not going to lack self-confidence. Asked about lessons learned from Hewitt's five-set marathon with Soderling, he said: "I think I can serve a little better than Lleyton at this stage. You know, I'm serving real good in the last matches here. So if I can hold my serve, anything can happen."

Harrison, meanwhile, had demonstrated much of the talent that could soon redress a vacancy among the American elite – as well as the temper that has already got him trouble with officials on several occasions. This time he slammed his racket in disgust when Ferrer broke his serve to open the deciding set, while a soft volley to one of the world's top players prompted what is likely to be rebuked as an "audible obscenity". Like Tomic, however, all this froth seems little more than his self-belief brimming over.

"My forehand is as good as anyone's if I'm hitting it well," he pronounced afterwards. "On any given day – obviously I've had some days where it goes off, it goes off more than a guy in the top ten – but if I'm hitting it well, I can hit it to both spots; I can hide it; I can dictate with it." What is more, he is certain he can come back here and win the title some day. "I think I can win this tournament," he said. "Grass suits my game. If I'm serving well, I'm not going to get broken."

His mentor, Andy Roddick, seems to have little doubt. "Everything that's tough for him is going to make him better, too," he said. "Because he cares so much about winning and losing – which I don't think we've had enough of, frankly, in the States [among] the up-and-coming players."

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments