|Posted on October 3, 2014 at 4:45 PM|
Berdych breezes by doubles partner, into the semifinals
They were doubles partners Thursday and singles opponents Friday.
Third-seeded Tomas Berdych defeated his doubles partner John Isner 6-1, 6-4 to advance to the semifinals of the China Open.
“John is a great kid, but once you step on the court everything needs to go inside and you just want to play your best,” Berdych said.
The shorter of the two, 6-foot 5-inch Berdych, now leads the head-to-head 6-2 over the 6-foot 10-inch American. The Czech has won the last nine matches of the series.
Isner, known for his high-powered serve, had 39 aces through the first two rounds of the tournament. He had eight in his quarterfinal loss.
“Once he gets out of his comfort and doesn’t get much time on his game, all of a sudden his first serve is not there. Then his shots are not there,” Berdych said.
The Czech dominated the first set of the match. At one point, he had 11 consecutive points on serve. Berdych gave up just five points on serve in the set.
“I’m trying to create some more pressure on him,” he said.
The Berdych pressure got to Isner’s serve in the first set. He broke Isner’s serve twice, and had break points in all three of the American’s service games.
“It’s not easy every time, but you know if you manage to do it well, especially from the beginning of the game, you take him the place and the time,” Berdych said. “That’s the way (it went) this time.”
The second set started similarly to the first. Berdych gained the early break and remained steady on serve.
“I was always a break up since almost the first game in each set, and it’s always a pleasant situation to be in,” Berdych said.
Isner was losing 40-30 and down a break in his second service game. The American dropkicked the ball into the net in pure frustration over his play.
In what could have been a turning point in the match, the 15th-ranked Isner then slammed an ace well over 125 miles per hour on the next point to bring the game to deuce. He ended up taking the game and garnishing some new added confidence on his serve.
That game sparked 12 points in a row for Isner at the service line, but he was still a break behind.
“Of course you have to be very focused and very concentrated on your serve no matter what score it is, but the fact that I was a break ahead helped a lot,” Berdych said.
Isner fended off a set point late in the match on serve, eventually winning the game to make it 5-4. But the American’s early break proved to be the difference.
Berdych won the final game with four straight points.
“I was always in the position that I always want to be in,” Berdych said.
The Czech will face either second-seeded Rafael Nadal or unseeded Martin Klizan in the semifinals.
(By Andrew Kauffman)
Enjoy 18 Photos Tomas Berdych in action against John Isner