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Berdych breaks no sweat in Chennai opener

By Bikash Mohapatra
January 04, 2011 20:32 IST
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It took Tomas Berdych just 45 minutes to cruise through to the second round of the Chennai Open on Tuesday.

The top seed scored an emphatic 6-0, 6-1 win over Portugal's Frederico Gil to enliven proceedings at the tournament that had a day earlier witnessed the exit of its second seed and two-time defending champion, Marin Cilic.

The huge gulf in the ranking as well as the pedigree of the two players was palpable.

Berdych raced through the first 11 games and when Gil finally managed to hold serve in the 12th game, his effort received great applause from the crowd.

The top seed closed out the match in the next game.

The Czech, a finalist at the erstwhile Mumbai Open in 2006, will certainly be looking to go one better in his second tournament on Indian soil.

And Tuesday's result was a clear indicator of the fact that he is on the right track.

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In another match, fourth seed Richard Gasquet eased past qualifier Edouard Roger-Vasselin 6-1, 6-3.

With Cilic's early exit, the Frenchman has become the clear favourite to reach the final from the bottom half of the draw.

Earlier, Yuki Bhambri failed to match up to the expectations of the handful of fans who were there at the Nungambakkam Stadium to support him, falling rather tamely to Alexandre Kudryavtsev 2-6, 1-6 on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old had dual fortune. And he couldn't utilise it either -- he failed to make the most of the wildcard awarded to him by the authorities and could not take advantage of the fact that he was playing a qualifier.

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Bikash Mohapatra in Chennai