|Posted on November 10, 2014 at 2:25 PM|
Group A features three of 2014’s Grand Slam champions: Djokovic (Wimbledon), Wawrinka (Australian Open) and Cilic (US Open). This is the first time in 11 years that three of the season’s major winners are in the same group (2003: Agassi, Ferrero, Roddick). Djokovic, who is appearing for the eighth year in a row, has a 41-5 FedEx ATP Head2Head record against the other three players in the group.
TOMAS BERDYCH FastFacts:
• Berdych is making his fifth consecutive appearance at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals (5-8 record). His best showing here was a SF appearance in 2011 (l. to Djokovic in opener, then beat Tipsarevic, Ferrer in RR play), losing to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final four.
• Ivan Lendl is the only other Czech player to qualify at least five times. Lendl made 12 appearances.
• Berdych is 9-16 in tie-breaks this year, the worst record in the Top 10.
• Berdych arrives in London off the back of a SF run at the ATP Masters 1000 Paris (l. to Raonic). It was his second SF appearance at ATP Masters 1000 level this year, having also reached the final four in Miami in March (withdrew vs. Nadal due to gastroenteritis).
• Berdych’s best string of results this year came in the opening few months of the season when he compiled a career-best 11-match winning streak, which included a ninth career title in Rotterdam (d. Cilic) and a runner-up finish in Dubai (d. No. 10 Tsonga, l. to Federer).
• Berdych won his 10th career title last month in Stockholm, where he beat three qualifiers in a row before overcoming Grigor Dimitrov in the final. It marked the first time he has won the same tournament twice and just the second time he has won multiple titles in a single season (also 2012).
• Berdych also reached finals this year in Oeiras in early May (l. to Berlocq after winning the first set 6-0) and Beijing at the beginning of October (l. to Djokovic).
• Berdych compiled a 15-4 record at the Grand Slams this year, advancing to the SF at the Australian Open for the first time (d. No. 3 Ferrer, l. to eventual champion Wawrinka) and reaching the QF at both Roland Garros (l. to Gulbis) and the US Open (l. to eventual champion Cilic).
• Berdych’s highest-ranked win of the year came over world No. 3 David Ferrer in the Australian Open QF.
BARCLAYS ATP WORLD TOUR FINALS 2014
DEVASTATING WAWRINKA CRUISES PAST BERDYCH IN GROUP A
by James Buddell | 10.11.2014
Stan Wawrinka was at his very best Monday at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals.
Wawrinka’s early season form — that included titles at the Aircel Chennai Open (d. Roger-Vasselin), the Australian Open (d. Nadal) and the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters (d. Federer) — returned at The O2 in the opening round of Group A matches when the third seed required just 58 minutes to beat sixth seed Tomas Berdych 6-1, 6-1.
It marked the fewest number of games that Wawrinka had lost versus a Top 10 opponent in 34 wins. Berdych is now 0-5 in opening round-robin matches in this career.
"I didn't expect to win that easy," said Wawrinka. "But I was ready to play well. I had a great week of preparation. Even if the result wasn't there in Basel and Paris, I was feeling the ball really well on the practice court.
"When I feel good on the court, I'm ready to beat everybody. It's never easy, but you have to fight for it."
The Swiss gave Berdych little chance of working his way into their 15th FedEx ATP Head2Head meeting, losing just three of his service points in a 25-minute first set.
After two love holds in the second set, Wawrinka broke Berdych's serve in a 14-point third game en route to his 37th match win of the season. It was his seventh Top 10 win of 2014 and the first since beating his compatriot, Roger Federer, in the Monte-Carlo final.
Wawrinka’s return to form bodes well for Switzerland. The nation takes on France in the Davis Cup final in Lille next week.
Berdych, who has now lost his past five matches against Wawrinka, committed 20 unforced errors and hit three double faults.
"Unfortunately, it was my worst match of the whole season and I kept it for the start here," said Berdych. "Today, I didn't really feel anything right. I can just keep fighting and try to play good tennis."
Enjoy combo image: Tomas Berdych in action against Stan Wawrinka: Ester Satorova in the stands, chair umpire is Mohamed Lahyani, coach Tomas Krupa, fitness trainer David Vydra
Tomas Berdych congratulates Stan Wawrinka after their match in the round robin during day two of the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals tennis at the O2 Arena on November 10, 2014 in London, England. Wawrinka won 6-1, 6-1.