Berdych ends drought, Radwanska wins in Beijing
Originally published on: 10/10/11 10:13
It had been a long time coming for a player of his stature, but Tomas Berdych finally clinched a title this weekend after a 29-month title drought.
Without a title since winning on the clay of Munich in May 2009, the 26-year-old Czech defeated Marin Cilic 3-6 6-4 6-1 to win the China Open final in Beijing and boost his hopes of a place in the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals for the second year running.
“To win this title means really a lot to me because it’s after 29 months,” said Berdych after hoisting the giant gold cup – his sixth career title. “It was quite a long time, so I’m happy that I could break this up. I think I couldn’t have a better place to win a title than here in Beijing.”
Berdych moves to No.7 in the race to book a place at the O2 Arena this November, overtaking Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the ATP ladder after beating the Frenchman in the semi-finals, but the Monte Carlo resident knows he must still have his wits about him if he is to secure his place in London.
“I did a great move to have a good chance to qualify for London. Still, these two weeks in Shanghai and Paris I really need to do well,” said the Czech.
Meanwhile, Agnieszka Radwanska continued her hot run of form in the women’s final in Beijing, winning a two-hour, 34-minute battle against Andrea Petkovic to win the biggest title of her career.
The Pole, who also won in Tokyo last week, extended her career advantage over the German to 5-0 after recovering from a love-second set loss to win the marathon encounter 7-5 0-6 6-4.
“I’m very, very happy Andrea and I could play such an amazing match. Both of us played unbelievable,” Radwanska said. “The first set was very tight, game by game. Then she killed me in the second set – I had chances, I was up 30-0 a few times, but it went by so quickly. It was hard to come back but I did, and in the end it was just a couple of points. I think it was the best final I’ve played.
“This is the biggest title of my career. It means a lot to me.”
The triumph was Radwanska’s first at a Premier Mandatory event, her seventh WTA crown overall, and as a result she will return to her career-high ranking of No.8 in the world as she closes in on booking the last-remaining spot at the year-end WTA Championships in Turkey.