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Rediff.com  » Sports » Berdych breezes into last 8 in Chennai

Berdych breezes into last 8 in Chennai

January 05, 2011 19:27 IST

Tomas Berdych became the first player to make it to the quarter-finals of the Chennai Open after winning his second match inside a day, on Wednesday.

The top seed scored a 6-2, 6-4 win over Ivan Dodig of Croatia to keep alive hopes of a first ATP title since May 2009, when he won in Munich. 

There are days when a player plays his best and ends up losing. And then there are days when a player's level drops but he still emerges winner.

Berdych's case was the latter. He was way below his best on Wednesday.  If his opening round win over Portugal's Frederico Gil a day earlier was comprehensive, his performance in the second round was erratic, to say the least.

While there were glimpses of display befitting his stature in the tournament, he looked out of touch for most of the match.

The world No 6 struggled with his serve throughout, dropping his first service game in the tournament in the opening set, and there were a number of unforced errors from his racquet. 

An opponent of higher pedigree could easily have exploited the Czech's frailties on the day. 

Not Dodig though. The Croatian had problems of his own, and by the time he rectified some of them the match was over.

Dodig lost his first three service games and even though he got one back in the fourth game, it was not enough. Berdych raced through the set in 36 minutes. 

The Croatian's serve improved vastly in the second set though. However, in the fifth game, just when things had looked better, he found himself three break points down. He saved two but failed on the third count.

It was the opening Berdych needed, the top seed pocketing the set in 50 minutes thereby booking his berth in the last eight.

In the end it seemed a fairly comfortable result. However, Berdych admitted things had been difficult. 

"The scoreline makes it look easy but it was tough," he said, adding, "I made a few easy mistakes, dropped my serve.

"Still it was a good start. It was important for me to win the match."

The Czech will next play the winner of the match between Slovakian Blaz Kavcic and American Robert Kendrick, the former having accounted for fifth seed Jeremy Chardy of France in the opening round.

Bikash Mohapatra Chennai