Berdych regains confidence with Roddick scalp
Originally published on: 24/11/10 17:25
Tomas Berdych swatted aside Andy Roddick in an hour and 25 minutes to condemn the American to his second straight defeat at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Berdych had managed just three victories since the US Open ahead of his debut at the prestigious year-end tournament, but survived two set points in a close opening set before seeing out an (in the end) assured 7-5 6-3 victory.
“It feels great,” he beamed post match. “Especially against Andy – I played him this year three times, and all three times he won.”
Those defeats came in Brisbane, San Jose and Miami, but after his poor recent showings culminated in a 6-0 third set defeat to Nikolay Davydenko in Paris-Bercy (before an underwhelming opening showing against Novak Djokovic at the O2), Berdych was delighted to claim a win on the biggest stage of the lot.
“I’m happy after the first one to get back on the court and start to play my tennis again, you know, feel good on court. That’s what I need,” he added.
Drawing first blood after 44 minutes, the Monte-Carlo resident attacked Roddick’s second serve with a forehand that held a cartoon-like trajectory as it plunged into the far corner. Unmoved, Roddick simply watched it kick off the court inside the line to his right, and in the very next game, the 2003 US Open champ offered similarly meek resistance as the Czech scored a simple hold to clinch the opening set.
In search of a foothold in the second, Roddick threw in several net approaches – a tactic that had served him so well for a set and a half in his opener against Rafael Nadal – but it just handed Berdych a target for him to drive his hammer-blow ground strokes at.
The Wimbledon-finalist broke again early in the second set and with Roddick serving to stay in the match at 3-5, the 28-year-old Nebraska native was picked off again, finding the net at 15-40 to hand over a double break, and with it the match.
Roddick rued the opportunity missed at the end of the first set in his post-match presser, admitting that his failure to close out the opener – he held two set points – had allowed the Czech to find his feet.
“I don’t think he came into the match with a lot of confidence,” Roddick noted. “Being able to get through that [first set] definitely raised his confidence level and he played well in the second set.”
The three-time semi-finalist now stands perilously close to just his second round robin exit in six appearances at the World Tour Finals.